Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Member of the National Commission for Minorities Harcharan Singh Josh, who had been deputed by the commission to the communal riot-hit Mangalore on a fact-finding mission in October 2006, has recommended judicial inquiry into the episode.

Referring to the allegations that police were harassing innocent people and also intimidating them, the member has urged the Union Government to protect minorities and their property. He has observed that the administration had collapsed and it could not control the situation.

Mr. Josh has also recommended action against the police found guilty of dereliction of duty. The State Government should make deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of the districts concerned responsible for maintaining peace in their jurisdiction. The other recommendations include providing a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the families of those who died in the riots and Rs. 1 lakh to the seriously injured.

Report

The commission has taken the complaints of minorities in the State seriously and has decided to submit a report in this regard to the Prime Minister

Mr. Josh told The Hindu before winding up the two-day interaction in Bangalore with representatives of minorities and prominent personalities, that a report would soon be submitted to the Prime Minister drawing his attention to the issues raised by the minorities, including the allegations of police taking sides during communal clashes.

"We agree with the views of minorities that they feel insecure, their confidence is low after the two episodes of communal violence in the State and also that they have lost faith in the police system," Mr. Josh said when asked about the commission's views on the complaints of minorities.

Mr. Josh said the commission was worried by the two incidents of communal violence in Mangalore and Shivajinagar in Bangalore.

"The reason for the worry is that Karnataka, which was known as a peaceful State, is entering a new phase of communal violence of late," he remarked and observed that these incidents would affect the image of the State.

If the Government has to show it is secular, then it has to restore confidence in the minds of the minorities.

"Such a task is more important than the issues such as Sachar report because one can think of employment only when he is free from fear and when his confidence is not affected."

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