The Karnataka cabinet on Monday decided to drop cases against activists of pro-Muslim organisations Popular Front of India (PFI) and Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), who were booked for rioting in different parts of the state in recent years.
Law Minister T B Jayachandra, justifying the decision to withdraw criminal cases against 1,600 PFI and KFD activists, said: “It has come to the government’s notice that most of those who were chargesheeted were only participating in protests and had gathered peacefully. They had no role in the violence nor were they part of the mob. So, after examining on case-to-case basis, the government decided to drop charges against PFI members.”
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However, the opposition BJP came down heavily on the government for the decision. BJP leader and spokesperson CT Ravi accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of strengthening the Congress vote bank at the expense of security. “It is unfortunate that the CM has disregarded the recommendation of police officers on withdrawal of over 175 cases registered against PFI and KFD activists. The police had specifically submitted a report to the state cabinet that they are dangerous organisations who indulge in violent, anti-social activities.
The withdrawal of cases would result in a spurt of moral policing and communal activities but the government’s ‘secular policy’ has chosen to ignore the concerns over these organizations,” BJP spokesperson said.
The BJP said that the Chief Minister had forgotten acts of violence involving KFD and PFI activists in Hassan, Shivamogga and Mysuru. “It is a well known fact that these organisations are seeded by the ISI and Taliban,” he added, asking government to reconsider its decision.