The former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) president, H.D. Deve Gowda, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Tuesday and complained about “lawlessness” in Karnataka in the wake of illegal mining by the Reddy brothers and the State police's haste in arresting Muslims under the yet-to-be-cleared Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter And Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010.

Talking to The Hindu after the 45-minute meeting, Mr. Gowda said he briefed Dr. Singh how the Reddy brothers and their associate — Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy, Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy and Health Minister B. Sriramulu — were illegally mining iron ore in Bellary and adjoining areas and exporting them, causing huge loss to Karnataka and the nation. He discussed measures to be taken to keep these things under check and save the wealth of the nation.

Mr. Gowda said he had conveyed to Dr. Singh that even before Cattle Slaughter Bill, adopted by the Karnataka Legislature, became law after getting the assent of the Governor, the police had arrested five Muslims owning butcher shops for possessing meat. This had created unrest among Muslims and that they would be the sufferers if the Act was implemented. If the situation continued, the general law and order in Karnataka would suffer, he had told Dr. Singh.

Mr. Gowda replied in the negative when asked whether he had sought the imposition of President's rule in Karnataka in view of “lawlessness” or dissolution of the Assembly. He said Governor H.R. Bhardwaj would take care of the situation.

Earlier, Mr. Gowda met CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and discussed the illegal mining issue and the strategies to be adopted while taking it up in Parliament.

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