Former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday released around 35 video clips of clashes between protesters and Mangaluru police, and claimed0 they showed police atrocities against students, bystanders and vendors on December 19, 2019.
Speaking to the media, Kumaraswamy said, “Even before the Commissioner’s order, the police were ready to fire, this incident shows the complete failure of law and order by the police department. I raise suspicion over the possible involvement of police in the violence after seeing these videos.”
He said he would table the video clips in the Assembly for discussion. “The videos show police heckled the people near the bus stop, journalists were treated badly by shouting at them, police have also pelted a mosque with stones and lathicharged on street vendors and the public. All this is to create fear among the people,” he said.
Slamming the BJP government in the state, Kumaraswamy said, “Yediyurappa has become the Chief Minister for the people of Karnataka to solve their problems and not to please his bosses in Delhi.”
Terming the Mangaluru violence as the police sponsored violence, Kumarswamy alleged, “The CAA protest was happening across Karnataka, but why was violence reported only in Mangaluru? This only suggests the violence in Mangaluru is police sponsored.”
Kumaraswamy pointed to the video of an autorickshaw transporting sacks of stones and said the footage released by the police is edited. “The Mangaluru police released video footage that shows an autorickshaw transporting stones projecting that the violence was well planned, but if you see my video footage, the auto was transporting debris from an under-construction building,” he said.
The government denied permission to hold the Janata Adalat Thursday in Mangaluru by a former Supreme Court judge and denied a senior journalist, who was part of the Janata Adalat team to hold a press conference. This shows the present government”s dictatorship,” he added.
Rejecting the claims of the police that they fired in defence when the protesters tried to set a police station on fire in Mangaluru, Kumaraswamy said, “near the police station circle there is a 360-degree CCTV camera, didn’t that camera capture the alleged attack on the police station by protesters? Police should release the video captured in that CCTV camera to prove their claim.”
Reacting to Kumaraswamy’s allegation through videos, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “Police have not been involved in the violence, they are deployed to control the violence. The same police were there when Kumaraswamy was the chief minister. The claims by Kumaraswamy are false and it is not right to blame the police for the violence.”
“Let Kumaraswamy give those footage to the magisterial inquiry committee who are conducting the inquiry into Mangaluru violence. Kumaraswamy shouldn’t confuse the people about the incident,” he added.