The Chamarajanagar district police have arrested a youth who was sporting the “PayCM” logo on his t-shirt while participating in the Bharat Jodo yatra near Begur in Gundlupet taluk on Saturday.
The youth identified as Kumar from Vijayapura district was walking with the other rallyists on the second day of the Karnataka leg of the yatra, which left Tondavadi Gate in Gundlupet before entering Mysuru district, when a group of police personnel caught up with him and forced him remove the t-shirt bearing the “PayCM” logo.
Superintendent of Chamarajanagar district police Shivakumar confirmed the arrest of the youth. He said the police had received a complaint against the “public nuisance” caused by the person wearing the t-shirt with the logo in the padayatra. He had been seen wearing the t-shirt on Friday and action was taken against him on Saturday, he said. However, the youth was later released on station bail as it was a non-cognisable offence.
Gundlupet police said a FIR in the regard has been booked in Chamarajanagar Cyber Economics and Narcotics (CEN) police station. The complainant had sought the arrest of the youth for sporting the poster, which amounted to “insulting the Chief Minister.”
Responding to the development, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the police was acting at the behest of the ruling party. With a video footage showing the police personnel hitting the youth, Mr. Siddaramaiah took to Twitter and condemned the “act of rowdyism” by the police against their party worker. “I urge @CmofKarnataka to immediately suspend this rowdy police,” he tweeted. Further, he tweeted that “BJP4Karnataka lack courage and strength to face #40PercentSarkara corruption campaign of our party. Unable to face it politically, coward BJP is trying to silence the voice using the police”.
During the press conferene earlier, Mr. Siddaramaiah said he and other party leaders including Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar and AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala too had been booked by the police for the posters pasted on the walls in Bengaluru. He alleged that the ruling party was misusing the police and trying to instill a sense of fear among the partymen.