Staff Correspondent

They have been termed ‘most wanted communal goondas’

Recommendation made to district administration for their arrest

They have at least 15 serious cases pending against them

MANGALORE: The Dakshina Kannada police have recommended to the district administration that 11 persons, who have been habitually indulging in acts of communal violence, be arrested under the Goonda Act, according to the year-end statistics released to the media by the department.

The Goonda Act or the Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Slum Grabbers Act of 1985, is invoked for arresting persons deemed to be “dangerous to society”.

Describing them as “most wanted communal goondas”, highly placed police sources said that these 11 persons, who were habitually involved in creating communal discord in the district, belonged to either Hindutva outfits such as Bajrang Dal and Sri Rama Sene or the Popular Front of India.

Each of these men, who have come to be referred as “communal goondas” by the police, have at least 15 serious cases pending against them, the sources added. The police said that preparing such a list was high on priority of Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) Gopal B. Hosur and Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao.

The files containing the recommendations against these 11 persons have been sent to the district administration, where an officer of the rank of Assistant Commissioner will pass orders in his capacity as Executive Magistrate. However, formal orders are yet to be received by the police and no arrests have been made yet.

Recounting the achievements of the district police in the year gone by, Mr. Rao, during an interaction, described 2009 as “a roller coaster ride” for the police force of the district. He commended the force for restoring law and order after the communal incidents during the end of 2008 and in the beginning of 2009. “We have succeeded in maintaining communal harmony and law and order after the events of the previous year.

The present atmosphere of peace has allowed us to concentrate on more people-centric initiatives,” he said. Mr. Rao said that the district police had opened the Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS), helpdesk, started student contact programmes, opened mohalla-level police youth clubs, online and IVRS complaint systems and launched the district police website.In all, 5,802 accused had been arrested in the district this year. Over Rs. 5.35 crore worth property was stolen during the period. Of this, property worth over Rs. 1.06-crore was recovered and Rs. 99.24-lakh worth property was returned to owners, Mr. Rao added.