Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy can find himself in the midst of legal intricacies after a video purportedly showing him asking a police official to “shoot mercilessly” those who had killed a worker of his party JD(S) in Mandya district, surfaced and went viral. As a political slugfest erupted over the issue, Kumaraswamy played down the matter saying he did not mean it and “it was an emotional outburst”. While BJP has criticised the remarks, the Chief Minister’s Office issued a statement saying the comments were an “emotional reaction” to the incident and not orders by Kumaraswamy.
However, trouble is brewing for the Chief Minister as a few activists from Karnataka has filed a petition with the State Human Rights Commission on the issue. People Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) activists have filed the complaint. In its letter to State Human Rights Commission, the activists stated, “Mr. HD Kumaraswamy is holding constitutional position will have to maintain the decorum make responsible statement. He should have called for report from police or should have given direction to police authorities to conduct proper speedy enquiry into the incident and nab culprits. CM directing to shootout will mislead and misguide the police it amounts to misuse of law. Further the person occupying constitutional position responsible for protection.”
Besides the human rights body, the Chief Minister may also find himself in soup if an FIR is filed into the matter and it reaches the court’s threshold. “The Constitution does not refer to such incidents. However, if an FIR is filed, the court will definitely look into the matter,” former Secretary-General of Lok Sabha Subhash C. Kashyap told FinancialExpress.com.
In the video, Kumaraswamy was heard saying: “I don’t know how you will handle it (the case).. because it was your responsibility. I am actually disappointed because it (the murder) brought a bad name. He (Prakash) was a good person.. There is no problem if you shoot such people mercilessly,” he said alluding to the alleged killers. “I am least bothered (about the consequences),” the chief minister had said.
WATCH Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy directing police official
#WATCH Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy caught on cam telling someone on the phone ‘He(murdered JDS leader Prakash) was a good man, I don’t know why did they murder him. Kill them (assailants) mercilessly in a shootout, no problem. (24.12.18) pic.twitter.com/j42dqiRs0a
— ANI (@ANI) December 25, 2018
50-year-old Prakash was a JD(S) activist and was hacked to death allegedly by four men in Maddur town of Mandya district Monday evening, police said. “It is beyond my imagination that such a person can ever be killed. My words were only an emotional outburst, which I did not mean,” the Chief Minister said.