While BJP legislators on Tuesday accused the Congress government in Karnataka of appeasing minorities and not taking strict action against those involved in killing BJP, Sangh Parivar and Hindu activists, state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the government is willing to examine withdrawal of police cases with mild charges filed against members of Hindutva outfits if they approach the government with requests.
Reddy was replying specifically to accusations of “minority appeasement” made by BJP members in the course of a debate in the Assembly on law and order situation in the state.
Leader of Opposition Jagadish Shettar of BJP accused the Congress government for issuing a circular on January 25 that sought details of police cases against “innocent minorities’’ and considering withdrawal of petty cases.
Reddy said the circular was issued following a cabinet sub-committee’s directive to the Home Ministry. The sub-committee was set up to oversee recommendations of the Sachar committee for uplift of minorities.
“The sub-committee was approached by some members from the minority community. They said many cases were pending against innocent members of the community. The representation was referred to the Home Ministry, and details of the cases were sought,’’ Reddy said.
He said the January 25 circular has been modified since to call for details of small cases (where chargesheets are not filed) to consider these cases for withdrawal. “Even members of VHP, Bajrang Dal and BJP can make (similar) representations. We will examine them,’’ he said.
The Home Minister specified that cases of murder, attempt to murder and any other grievous crimes, including destruction of property, will not be considered for withdrawal.
Replying to BJP members’ accusation that 23 Hindu activists had been killed in the five years under Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Reddy said only 11 murders were communal crimes, and chargesheets have been filed in all these cases after the accused were arrested. He said the remaining cases were personal disputes.
Vishweshwar Kaggeri, BJP MLA from Sirsi, claimed that in the light of communal clashes in Uttara Kannada region in December last year, the police filed rioting cases against more than 100 BJP workers.
Reddy accused the BJP of attempting to create trouble after each incident of death.