Karnataka

Congress protests ‘misuse of police’ in State

Congress leaders and workers staging a protest in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Congress leaders and workers staging a protest in Bengaluru on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Siddaramaiah alleges double standards in police action

Just ahead of the State legislature session, scheduled to begin on Monday, the Opposition Congress on Saturday held a protest against the alleged misuse of the police force against those opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

The protest comes in the wake of the recent sedition case against a woman and a teacher over a play at a Bidar school and such instances.

The protesters, led by Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, tried to lay siege to the Chief Minister’s office. They were prevented by the police, who detained several senior party leaders and later released them.

“While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the State is filing false cases, including sedition, even against those opposing the CAA peacefully, several BJP leaders who have made provocative speeches have gone scot-free,” he said.

Attacking the State police for the sedition case over the play at Shaheen School in Bidar, he said it was sad that a dialogue in a play by a child could bring the wrath of sedition. He said a speech by Congress leader U.T. Kahder was “deliberately misrepresented” and a case slapped against him, while Minister C.T. Ravi’s statement threatening “Godhra-like riots” invited no action, he said. He added that “outrageous statements” by Uttara Kannada MP Anant Kumar Hegde too attracted no action.

“The State police has become a political tool in the BJP’s hands,” said Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao.

Mr. Siddaramaiah also pointed out how the High Court of Karnataka had sought an explanation from the city police over their excesses. “The High Court has held the imposition of prohibitory orders during anti-CAA protests in December 2019 bad in law. The court has also come down on the police for illegally demolishing sheds at Kariyammana Agrahara under the garb of action against illegal Bangladeshis,” he said, and argued that these instances showed that the “State police had crossed a line and were now acting only to please the BJP government in the State”. He advised the police to “act as per law and in the spirit of democracy and not be reduced to acting on the whims and fancies of the BJP.”

Mr. Rao said the Congress would raise this issue in the Assembly session. Other senior Congress leaders Ramalinga Reddy, D.K. Suresh, B.K. Hariprasad, V.S. Ugrappa, and H. M. Revanna, among others, participated in the protest.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 6:28:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/congress-protests-misuse-of-police-in-state/article30831899.ece

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