THE BJP government in Karnataka will consider building houses for the families of two Muslim victims of police firing in the city of Mangalore during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act on Thursday, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Saturday following a visit to Mangalore to meet the families and local officials.
“I spoke for a while to the families of the persons who died in the police firing on Thursday to understand their emotions and problems,’’ the Karnataka CM said after his meeting with the 14-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son of Abdul Jaleel, 49, a fish market worker, and the mother and brother of Noushin Kudroli, 24, a welder, killed in the firing. “Compensation will be given as per law. I have also asked the authorities to consider building homes for the families of the persons who died,’’ Yediyurappa said.
The families told the Chief Minister that the two victims were bystanders and that they had not participanted in the protests against CAA. “We have decided to give compensation within the ambit of the law to the families of the persons who died. I am giving directions to the district authorities to decide on what has to be done. They will make an announcement,’’ Yediyurappa said.
The Karnataka CM reviewed the law and order situation in Mangalore and the circumstances surrounding the police firing in the aftermath of the CAA protests and gave a go-ahead for the gradual relaxation of curfew in the city over the next two days.
“I met the leaders of Christian and Muslim communities who tried to explain the situation in the region to me. The request of all the people has been to remove the curfew in Mangalore. I have discussed this with the authorities and we have decided to withdraw curfew from 3 pm to 6 pm on Saturday. On December 22, there will be no curfew through the day and curfew will be re-imposed in the night. On Monday, there will be no curfew. Section 144 will continue to prevail during this time,’’ Yediyurappa said after his meetings in Mangalore.
“Since Christmas will be celebrated next week, I have directed the officials to ensure that there are no problems to celebrating the festival in the region,’’ he said.
Yediyurappa said an inquiry would be ordered into the violence and firing in Mangalore on Thursday and a decision on the nature of the inquiry would be decided after he holds consultations with Home minister Basavaraj Bommai.
The Chief Minister has struck a conciliatory note ever since protests over CAA began, unlike a few of his ministers such as Tourism Minister C T Ravi who said that a “Godhra like situation” may arise in Mangalore if Hindus rise against Muslims.
“My request is to preserve peace. Our government does not differentiate between Hindu, Muslim and other communities. We have not done it in the past and will not do it in the future. This is our aim and it is the aim of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well. This is the meaning of the slogan Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. People must understand this,’’ he said.
Although some reports suggested that Yediyurappa had stated that the NRC will be reconsidered in Karnataka, the CM’s office said that he did not mention NRC during media or other interactions in Mangalore on Saturday.
Yediyurappa, however, defended the police on the firing in the Bunder area of Mangalore, calling it an act of self defence by the police from fears of a mob attack. Locals in the region have, however, denied the accusation of the Mangalore police.
“The incidents that occurred are unfortunate. Police had no option when they felt that firearms at the Bunder police station would be targetted in the protest. We do not what catastrophe would have occurred if the police station was attacked and the firearms taken by the protesters,’’ Yediyurappa claimed.