//Violence in Karnataka: Police Watch as Minority is Targeted

Violence in Karnataka: Police Watch as Minority is Targeted

Coastal Karnataka — especially Mangalore Hubli and Hasan — are very tense flames as Bajrang Dal activists on the rampage against youth from the minority community with a reluctant police allegedly not stemming those committing arson and loot. It is critical that the Centre puts pressure on the government of Karnataka to take adequate steps to protect lives and properties of all citizens irrespective of community, caste, class or gender. Developments in the past few months after the present government took over has increased apprehensions that mob leaders and law breakers enjoy state support and patronage and therefore the lives of innocent persons from the minority communities are under severe threat. Already, illegal rounding up of dozens of Muslim youth from these areas and loot and arson of minority properties—homes and businesses on Friday and Saturday – have created a climate of fear.

Fortunately, unlike Gujarat, robust local protests from different groups, communal harmony forums and minority groups have been heard from different parts of Karnataka putting a spotlight on the issue. The Karnataka Forum for Dignity and the Karnataka Komu Souhara Vedike
(Karnataka Communal Harmony Forum) have been protesting these attacks since Friday.

Today the Dignity Forum held a press conference in Bangalore and tomorrow another press conference is scheduled at the Bangalore Press Club at 1.30 p.m.

Teesta Setalvad
Co-Editor, Communalism Combat

Annexed hereto is the Memorandum submitted to the Karnataka Governor by the Karnataka Forum for Dignity


Date: 6th Oct, 2006

The Hon'ble Home Minister
Govt. of Karnataka

Dear Sir,

Sub: Attrocities against Minorities. When we read it in Communalism Combat about Two years ago that Gujarat is going to be repeated in Karnataka, no body could believe it. Now, on one can deny it as things are unwinding in the similar fashion. Sangh Parivar had declared in Gujarat that it is a laboratory and similar model will be repeated in other states as it is proved to be successful to acquire power.

We have been bringing to the notice of the Government from time to time the modus operandi and scaling upwards the targeted attack on the Minorities in a well planned and monitored manner. Rather Implementation of the successful model of Gujarat. When we found that the Government is mum on these issues, to open the eyes of the Government we conducted a massive Rally in Bangalore on 19th May 2006, wherein nearly 20,000 people participated. On that day Hon'ble Chief Minister invited us for a discussion and assured us immediate action against the culprits.

The fact is that no action has been taken, instead Police Offices of their choice have been placed in Sensitive areas. Whenever they find no issues to create trouble, their favourite topic is cow slaughter. Here again the fact is that no cow slaughter is taking place within the criminal ambit of the law.

On 4th October, 06 evening the Bajrangis, self appointed police, in two separate jeeps chased one mini lorry till Bunder, Mangalore presuming it carrying unlawful cattle for slaughter. The driver of the Lorry escaped somehow fearing for his life. Being desperate of not getting their pray they attacked three innocent boys who were retuning from night prayers.

As the boys shouted for help to save their life and resisted their attack, these people ran away and enforced a bundh next day. Though the response for the Government sponsored bundh on 4th, which evoked very good response through out the state had no response in Mangalore, However the bundh called by these criminal elements on 5th was total, which shows how people are scared of these Criminal elements.

The bundh followed by leashing of terror against Minorities in pure and climax Gujarat model. The Police were busy terrorizing and arresting Minorities all over Mangalore and Buntwal taluk from their residences and even from the Masjids. On the other hand the Bajrangis were let loose and their looting and arson continued till their satiating point, only then the Police turned against them to eye wash the public.

If you have any apprehensions about what we have stated above, you may conduct independent enquiries and you will find the stunning fact all the business establishments destroyed were of Minorities and secondly the perpetrators of these kinds of Crimes are charged with non-cognizable offences and the minorities are charged with Cognizable offences, wherein they should languish in jails for no fault of theirs. If you call for the reports of such incidents in the past you will find the same stunning facts.

Therefore, we hereby request you to send sufficient forces to protect the life and property of Minorities and to take immediate action against these criminal forces and the Police Officers who are abetting these criminals.

Thanking you.

Yours Sincerely

Moh. Sharif

For Karnataka Forum for Dignity