February 20, 2020 5:29:48 pm
Padma Bhushan awardee Ramachandra Guha on Thursday dismissed Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s claim that the latter had called to personally apologise after the historian was detained in December during a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act outside Town Hall in Bengaluru.
Taking to Twitter, Guha said, “The Home Minister of Karnataka has claimed on the floor of the State Assembly that he apologized to me by phone for the manhandling by the Bengaluru police on 19th December 2019. This is false. I received no such call or apology.”
“Even if such an apology had been offered, I would have rejected it. The imposition of Section 144 was illegal (as the Karnataka High Court has since held) and I was proud to be one of thousands of peaceful protesters who defied the State’s arbitrary action on that day,” the historian posted on the micro-blogging site.
On December 19, 2019, Guha raised slogans against the new law before he was dragged away and put under what police called “preventive arrest”. He was later released.
The protest was organised by various activists and Left-leaning groups under the banner of “Hum Bharat Ke Log”. It was initially sanctioned by Bengaluru Police, but the permission was withdrawn late and Section 144 of CrPC imposed in the area.
Home Minister Bommai, during a legislative session held on Wednesday, had claimed that he personally apologised to Guha after the incident. “736 protests took place in the last during the last three months in the wake of CAA. In Bengaluru alone, protests have taken place in over 20 places. We have not curbed protests anywhere. Minor discrepancies have taken place including historian Ramachandra Guha being manhandled during a protest. I have called and apologised to him for that,” Bommai had said.
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