Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday accused the Opposition of politicising the incidents of sexual assaults against women in Bangalore even as the BJP stepped up its pressure on the Congress government over the spurt in rape cases in the city.
“The main opposition party is politicising the issue,” Siddaramaiah said on Tuesday even as senior BJP leaders in Karnataka, including state president Prahlad Joshi, former chief ministers B S Yeddyurappa and Jagadish Shettar protested over the crime situation in the city.
The BJP leaders demanded the resignation of state home minister K J George at a protest rally despite police arresting the key suspects in two major incidents of sexual assaults that rocked the city in the past 10 days.
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The government had on Monay also effected sweeping changes in the police heirarchy in the Bangalore police commissionerate as an effort to counter criticism and protests that have been witnessed in the city the light of the police inaction in arresting an accused of the rape of a six-year-old girl in a prestigious Bangalore school.
Showing signs of exasperation over continued media and opposition focus on the sexual assault crimes in the city Siddaramaiah asked if the media does not have any other issues to pursue.
The ruling Congress in Karnataka is seeing a conspiracy by the opposition BJP in the widespread protests in the city over the weekend over the sexual assault cases. “The protests were spearheaded by right wing BJP affiliated organizations,” Congress leaders said.
Continuing efforts to show that it is serious about tackling safety issues in the city and especially at school the Karnataka chief minister said that the police had been instructed to invoke the stringent Goonda Act against sexual offenders whenever offences occur. The primary responsibility for safety of children in schools vests with the managements of the schools and action will be invoked against managements for dereliction of safety of students, Siddaramaiah has stated.
The government also sent its primary education minister Kimmane Rathnakar to interface with parents of students at the Vibgyor International School which has been shut for the past week on account of the uproar over the alleged sexual assault on a child in the school premises, during school hours by a skating instructor – who has subsequently been arrested.
Following his meeting with the parents the education minister said that the government had directed the school to re-open on Wednesday. Rathnakar said that the question of revoking the recognition of the Vibgyor International School vests with the central government since the school has a central board affiliation.