Mayor refuses to expunge CPI(M) councillor’s remark, postpones meet
The attack on Morning Mist Homestay here on Saturday rocked the meeting of the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) council on Tuesday, forcing Mayor Gulzaar Banu to postpone it.
As the meeting began councillors cutting across party lines condemned the attack stating that it was inhuman and could not be accepted. They also condemned the police for allegedly harassing C. Mohan Kumar, councillor, Alape North Ward, in connection with the attack.
The former Mayor and Congress councillor K. Ashraf said that it was natural for Mr. Kumar to visit the spot where the incident took place as it was in his ward. Mr. Ashraf criticised the police for filing a case against two journalists.
Sudhir Shetty Kannur of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that Assistant Commissioner of Police (South) T.R. Jagannath forced Mr. Kumar into the police jeep. This should be brought to the notice of the Government.
While condemning the attack, Communist Party of India (Marxist) councillor Jayanthi B Shetty alleged that the “goondas of Sangh Parivar” had attacked the homestay. This angered BJP councillors who are in majority in the council. They rushed to the well of the House and protested against this remark. They demanded that Ms. Shetty either apologise or withdraw her remark “goondas of Sangh Parivar” as it pained them. If not, the Mayor should expunge it from the records of proceedings of the council, they said.
They said that they would not allow the meeting to continue if their demand was not conceded.
At this point, Ms. Shetty, independent councillor Mariamma Thomas and Janata Dal (Secular) councillor Abdul Azeez M raised slogans against “moral policing”. They were supported by S. Appi of the Congress.
When the Mayor did not agree to expunge the remark from the records, some women councillors of the BJP led by Shantha R. rushed towards Ms. Shetty and started arguing with her. BJP men led by Tilakraj joined them. They forced Ms. Shetty to withdraw her remark or tender an apology.
Ms. Shetty refused to withdraw her remark or tender apology stating that she had done nothing wrong. She said the BJP councillors had accused her party of supporting Maoists.
Congress councillors tried to pacify the agitated BJP and CPI(M) councillors, but in vain. When the heated debate continued, the Mayor adjourned the meeting for an hour.
When the council re-assembled, the BJP councillors and Ms. Shetty stuck to their stand. The Mayor too did not agree to expunge the remark. This led to a commotion again, forcing the Mayor to postpone the meeting.