‘City Commissioner was posted by the BJP government’

Two days after a group of vigilantes brutally attacked five men transporting cattle , the District in-charge Minister B. Ramanath Rai has come down heavily on the police in Dakshina Kannada. He told The Hindu on Friday that the process of weeding out rightwing elements in the department was still on, and that the officers were posted here by the BJP-led government.

“The inspectors and the Commissioner of the police in Mangalore are still the same. In the last transfers of police, some 75 per cent of the issues in the system have been cleansed. We’ll transfer other officers and ensure there is a strong force here to deal with incidents of vigilantism,” Mr. Rai said on telephone from Bangalore. He was responding to the Muslim leaders in the Congress who expressed their frustration over the government’s inability to stop the assaults targeted at the minority community.

Muslim leaders livid

Earlier, the former Mayor K. Ashraf had convened a meeting of leaders from the minority community following the assault on five persons who were transporting cattle near Kudupu on Wednesday. “Our government keeps giving statements, but the assaults continue. The police department have closed their eyes to cases of vigilantism,” he said.

Apart from alleging that the police were complicit in these acts, the former Mayor also criticised Mr. Rai, and Health and Family Welfare Minister U.T. Khader for not visiting the injured in the hospital on Thursday even though they “were made aware of the incident”. “Our MLAs and leaders have not given any sort of assurances to the community after incidents such as these,” he said.

However, responding to this, the district in-charge Minister said: “Three people have already been arrested for the incident, and many more will be arrested. We have been in touch with the police and the Deputy Commissioner of Police to ensure there is action in this case. We may not have visited the victims, but we’ve done everything else.”

‘Poll related’

During the meeting held earlier, the Muslim leaders in the Congress believed that the attacks would intensify in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. “The Sangh Parivar knows that most Muslims vote for the Congress. And so, they are trying to split society on communal lines to get majority votes,” said Mr. Ashraf.

‘No rift’

However, dismissing any speculation on a rift or discontentment in the party, Mr. Ashraf said that as leaders of the party it was the right of Muslim Congress workers to ensure the problems of their community reaches the ears of the State and central government.

His sense of frustration was aired by the former Rajya Sabha Member B. Ibrahim, who said it was “surprising” that these “brazen attacks continued” even though both the State and Central Governments were led by the Congress.

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