It is now the turn of Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa to face the charge of hate speech.

The remarks made by him against the Muslim community at a Brahmin convention in Shimoga on Tuesday has resulted in a private complaint being lodged against him by Syed Wahid, president of District Congress Committee’s minority wing, in the second Judicial Magistrate First Class Court.

Mr. Eshwarappa has been accused of disturbing social harmony by delivering an inflammatory speech.

Speaking at a programme organised by Vipra Vedike, Mr. Eshwarappa had said, “Muslim youth have molested 68 girls belonging to the Brahmin community in Shimoga city in past eight months and have deserted them later. I have documents to prove these allegations. The Brahmin girls in Shimoga city are victims of ‘Love Jihad’.” He repeated the same thing at a function here on Wednesday.

Mr. Eshwarappa said that in the recent urban local body elections, seven Muslim candidates were elected to the Shimoga City Municipal Council owing to division of Hindu votes. Even though observers from the Election Commission were present at the programme, Mr. Eshwarappa said that if he won the election, he would take the initiative to sanction 25 acres of land for a Brahmin educational institution.

The complainant told the court that Mr. Eshwarappa had insulted the Muslim community and provoked religious hatred ahead of the elections.

The complainant has requested the court to punish Mr. Eshwarappa for defaming the Muslim community.

The court has admitted the complaint and has posted the matter for hearing on June 6.

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