A day after a video of Karnataka BJP MLA Somasekhara Reddy threatening anti-CAA protesters during a rally in Bellary district went viral on social media, the Karnataka Police Saturday filed an FIR against him based on a complained by Vivek P, president of the Cantonment Block Congress Committee.
The FIR was lodged against Reddy and Desh Bhakt Nagrik Vedike, the organisation which held the pro-CAA rally on Friday, under Section 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
At the event, the legislator from Bellary City constituency had said: “We are 80 per cent and you (CAA protestors) are just 17 per cent. Imagine what will happen to you if we turn against you…”
A most divisive speech inciting violence by BJP MLA Somashekhara Reddy
“We are 80%, you are just 15%. Beware. You should listen to us if you want to live in our country else we will send you to your country”
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) January 3, 2020
His remark was widely criticised and triggered protests in his constituency, where people burnt an effigy of him and called for strict action. On Saturday, too, thousands of protesters marched towards his residence demanding action against him for his “hate speech”.
Ballari SP C K Baba said, “Around 4,000 people had gathered to protest against the provocative speech made by the legislator on Friday. The protesters have submitted a memorandum requesting action against the legislator. We have told them a case has been already registered against the legislator and the organisers, and the investigation is going on.”
Baba said the protesters dispersed only after he showed them a copy of the FIR against Reddy,
Meanwhile, a delegation of Karnataka Congress leaders also submitted a complaint against Reddy to Neelamani Raju, Director General and Inspector General of Police, Karnataka on Saturday in Bengaluru.
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah and Congress leaders Dinesh Gundu Rao, Ramesh Kumar, VS Ugrappa, Zameer Ahmed Khan, Eshwar Khandre, Basavaraj Hitnal were among a delegation that met Raju and submitted a letter requesting to take up a suo motu case against Reddy.
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