13 October 2006, (Vaartha Bharathi)
Baba Budhangiri and cow slaughter are the two profitable issues in the hands of the Sangh Parivar in Karnataka these days. It has successfully used these two issues to fan communal tensions generally in the state and particularly in the coastal region where it has stronger roots compared to the rest of the state. Fortunately for the Sangh this time it has a government of its liking in the state, in which BJP is an important partner. Naturally, all the evil designs and criminal activities of the Sangh and its constituents enjoy fullest support and protection from the present government.
The trouble in Mangalore started on 4th October 2006 with a bandh call given jointly by Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Yuva Sena. The reason stated was a vehicle alleged to be “illegally” carrying cows near Kudroli, Mangalore which is said to have refused to “obey orders” when Sangh activists, led by the local Bajrang Dal, unit signaled it to stop.
In order to ensure the success of the bandh the Sanghis resorted to their well-known art of rumour-mongering. They spread the word that the said vehicle which had “refused” to obey their orders to stop had later hit innocent people including a women causing them severe injuries in its effort to escape from the hands of chasing Banjrang Dal activists. Most of the daily newspaper and eveningers, with the exception of Vaartha Bharathi, helped the Sanghis by carrying these rumours to the nooks and corners of the region as if it was a confirmed news. This added fuel to the fire and gave rise to a series of incidents of stone-pelting, attacks on Muslim houses, mosques and innocent people.
Next day, Oct. 5, 2006, the Superintendent of Police of Dakshina Kannada categorically denied the report that any women being injured by a Qualis. He clarified that no such incident has been reported from Kudroli or any other area in the region. Not satisfied with this Karavali tale, a prominent eveninger published a completely fabricated news item that Mr. Shrishar Bhat who was injured in an attack three days earlier in Jokatte, died in Hospital. In fact Mr. Shridhar was alive and had fully recovered from his injuries. This fabricated report provoked more violence in a volatile atmosphere.
On October 5th morning Mangaloreans were shocked by this sudden bandh and many were forced to return home by Bajrang activists. Stone-pelting by mobs was witnessed at Thokkottu, Suratkal, Nanthur, Farangipet, Adyar, Kannur, Naguri Chokkabettu and Krishnapura. In Valachil a group of people pelted stones on a bus coming from Bangalore injuring four passengers of the bus in the process. A scooter was set on fire near Kalikamba temple in Mangalore. A group of miscreants with their faces covered attacked and ransacked Darussalam Mosque and Madrasa in Bajpe and the people praying there were threatened. In Bantwal taluk of South Canara district Sornadu, Siddakatte, Rayi, Koila, Panemangalore, Melkar, Kalladka and Mani observed full bandh due to fear of violence. In B.C.Road police station area many shops belonging to Muslims were looted by Bajrang Dal activists while police acted as mute spectators. Karkala district was forced to observe the bandh, while the bus service to Udupi district was affected due to the blockade of National Highway by a mob.
Mr. Promod Mutalik, state secretary of National Hindu Sena and former South India chief of Bajrang Dal, was arrested at Bababudhangiri in Chikmagalur during a parallel Dattapeetha campaign against the one sponsored by Sangh outfits. The National Hindu Sena called for bandh to protest his arrest. Incidents of stone-pelting, attacks on mosques, bottle-pelting, assaulting and stabbing were reported from various parts of the district. A joint delegation by Karnataka Forum for Dignity and Komu Souhardha Vedike (Communal Harmony Forum) met the State Home minister Mr MP Prakash on Oct. 5 night and 6th morning and the real scenario was brought into his notice and he was urged to take immediate measures.
Two Innocents Killed
On October 6, 2006, Mr. Abdul Gafoor Madani (Picture left), the Imam of Bijai Mosque in Mangalore city, was attacked with swords by a team of Bajrang Dal activists when he was on his way to the mosque after iftar. He received severe injuries on his neck and kidney. The next day he died in the hospital. He was the only bread-winner of his poor family which includes his old parents KT Aboobakar and Bi-Fathima both of whom suffer from various physical ailments.
Ibrahim, died in the Mangalore riotsOn October 7, 2006 a group of Bajrang Dal activists attacked an ambulance car at Polali which is 50 kilometres away from Mangalore city. Mohammed Ashraf, Iqbal, Rahim, Ibrahim, Haneef, Hameed, Abdulla and Rafeeq from Boliyar were travelling to Mangalore airport to drop Mohammed Ashraf who was scheduled to travel to Dubai same evening by an Air India flight. The Bajrang Dal activists dragged them out the ambulance vehicle and ordered them to say “Jai Shri Ram”. On not getting a favourable response, they were attacked with swords. Ibrahim (see right), who was seriously injured in the attack, died on the spot. All others were admitted to a hospital where they are still under treatment.
Families in distress
Though the situation in Bunder was completely under control on October 8, and no untoward incident was reported from the area, Police personnel ransacked houses without any valid reason as if they were searching criminal elements. This has created a wave of severe anger among the public.
Here are a few testimonies of the victims of Police atrocities:
Jameela :"My husband Riyaz recently returned to India, quitting his job in Saudi Arabia to undergo medical treatment for ulcer. At about 12:30 am, when everyone at home was in deep slumber, we were shocked by a loud knock on the door. Even before we could open the door, more than a dozen policemen stormed our house breaking the door. Those policemen used highly abusive words and threatened to kill us with a sword. We repeatedly requested them not to hurt my ailing husband but it fell on deaf ears. They caught his collar and dragged him to the police vehicle. Next day we were made to run from one police station to another, but failed to get any information about my husband’s whereabouts. My husband is an innocent person, who has not hurt a single person until now. Kindly bring him back home…. please.”
Jameela Bunder: “On Monday 12 noon around 20 to 30 policemen stormed into our house, one among them was Narayan Baindoor. They started damaging our furniture and used abusive language when we told them that we are fasting. My son Shaukat was dragged out of the house and taken away. My son has blood cancer and he needs immediate treatment. Please let me know where he is..?” Shabulal’s wife Jameela continued to weep.
Such Police atrocities continued at Bunder Mangalore from Sunday evening to Monday afternoon.
Some 30 policemen stormed into the house of Abdul Rauf, a local resident, threatening him in local Tulu language holding a revolver. They arrested Muhammad Shareef Imran (17) and Abdul Rasheed (21) at mid-night. Police ransacked the house of Mr. Hassainar and arrested his son Abdul Khader Naeem (17). Similarly Sarik (25), Hameed (30), Farook (29) and Fairoz (22) were arrested from their houses during the same time by the police. These are only a few examples.
Above all, the Police didn’t even provide the information of the illegally arrested people to the distressed family members. Inspector General of Police, Dr. Satyanarayan Rao has said that the department will take action if it is proved that policemen are guilty.
On October 9, 2006, Police at Badriya Nagar in Mallur near Mangalore, stormed many local residences and randomly attacked Aboobakar (35), Aaminamma (
80), Abdul Latheef (26), Zainabi (28), Nazeemullah (42), Abdul Kahader (30) and Muhammad Salih(29). These innocent victims were unaware of the reason for this sort of brutal treatment. A victim has identified one of the attackers as “Keshav”.
Congress reluctant To Pass Communal Violence Bill: CPI(M)
Mangalore, Oct. 9:
The communal violence Bill is already finalized in order to curb communal violence and to take severe action against the elements behind such violence. But the central UPA Govt. is unwilling to table it before Parliament and pass the bill despite the pressure by the left parties, says G.N. Nagaraj, the state secretary of CPI(M.). While speaking to Vaartha Bharathi daily in a hospital where the riot victims were admitted, he said that the district incharge minister B. Nagaraja Shetty
RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat and many police officers including the Superintendent of Police of Dakshina Kannada district are behind the Mangalore violence. “The Director General of Police of the state, himself declined the State home minister’s claim that the banned SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) was behind the Mangalore violence. This shows the irresponsible behaviour of the state government and home minister,” Mr Nagaraj stated. Speaking about the opposition parties, he said “Congress being the main opposition party in Karnataka state has failed to put pressure on the state government to stop violence in and around Mangalore”.
Nagaraj urged the state government to immediately launch an investigation into the role of district incharge minister B. Nagaraj Shetty in the violence and asked him to resign from the state cabinet.
District incharge minister behind Mangalore violence: Shriram Reddy
“Dakshina Kannada district incharge Minister B.Nagaraj Shetty is behind the violence in and around Mangalore and the atrocities on minorities,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and member of the state legislative assembly Mr.Shriram Reddy alleged. He was speaking to Vaartha Bharthi daily in a hospital in Mangalore during his visit to meet the riot victims admitted there. He also said that there is no evidence to prove the role of SIMI in Mangalore violence as stated by the state home minister Mr. MP Prakash.
“Total failure of the district administration, district police system, role of Sangh Parivar, irresponsibility of the superintendent of police and the active participation of district incharge minister are the reasons for the Mangalore violence,” Shriram Reddy said.
Police atrocities in Ullal, near Mangalore
Ullal, a predominantly Muslim area, witnessed widespread atrocities by the police personnel who stormed into houses of innocent Muslims. They terrorised the family members, arrested innocent youth and literally looted whatever was available.
On October 8, 2006, a team of 20 policemen headed by Jayanth Shetty, entered the house of Mr. Moidin Kunhi at Tibilapadav near Konaje and used highly abusive words against his family members. They broke the cupboard and looted Rs. 40,000 kept in it. Before leaving the house the police severely beat six boys present in the house.
“There was no tension in our area, nor were there any violent incidents. We do not know why the police stormed our house without any valid reason,” said Moidin Kunhi. On October 7, 2006, a team of 15 policemen ransacked the house of Mr. Moidinabba breaking the main door. They threatened the women with revolvers and shot at the TV set and destroyed it along with some other furniture in the house. Police followed the same modus operandi and ransacked at least 60 houses belonging to innocent Muslims in that area.
Bajrang Dal is responsible for Mangalore violence: M. Veerappa Moily
Former chief minister of Karnataka and the chairman of the Central Administrative and Reforms Commission Mr. M. Verappa Moily has accused Bajrang Dal and the failure of the state government as the main reason for the violence and atrocities against minorities in Mangalore and surrounding areas for the past one week. He has stated that the Dakshina Kannada District administration has completely failed to handle the situation. He asked the Government to fine Bajrang Dal Rupees 300 crores for the loose incurred during the bandh and subsequent violence.
Mangalore and surrounding areas are completely under control except for the continuing police atrocities reported from here and there. A peace committee meeting was held at the deputy commissioner’s office on 10th October. More than 95 people were injured in which at least 75 are Muslims. A total 225 cases have been registered of which more than 75 per cent cases are against Muslims. A total 896 people have been arrested so far. More than 60 per cent of those arrested and in custody are Muslims.