The Karnataka police on Saturday booked Ballari City MLA Somashekhara Reddy for promoting enmity between two religious groups after his communally-coloured speech made on Friday.
Thousands of protesters from the Muslim community assembled at Ballari’s City at around 11.30 am on Saturday and demanded that BJP MLA Somashekhara Reddy be arrested for his communally-charged speech.
Protesters shouted slogans against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register for Citizens (NRC) and called for immediate action against the legislator.
Over 100 police personnel were present at the protest for protection. While SP Babu tried to pacify the protesters and asked them to withdraw, the agitators put their foot down and said that they would disburse peacefully if action were taken against the MLA.
At around 3.30 pm, an FIR was registered at Ballari’s Gandhinagar Police Station against Somashekhara Reddy under section 153A(promoting enmity between two groups on the basis of religion), 295A (Punishment for deliberate and malicious acts that are intended to insult religious beliefs) and 505 B (making statement intended to cause fear, or alarm the public) of the IPC.
On Friday, the BJP had organized a pro-CAA public meeting in Ballari where MLA Somashekhara Reddy addressed a gathering of the party’s cadre. ““Bewakoofs (idiots) from Congress are lying to you,” he continued, “and you’re believing them and coming out onto the streets. Hey, we’re the 80%! You’re just 17%. If we turn against you what will your situation be?” he had said while referring to the Muslim community.
Somashekhara Reddy is the youngest brother in the Reddy brothers trio: Karunakara, Janardhan (the mining baron) and Somashekhara.
In his speech on Friday, Somashekhara further insinuated that minorities need to ‘adapt’ if they wanted to live in India.
"Caution, tread with caution. This is our country. You have to live in our country. This is my country. My country,” Somashekhara orated to loud cheers, “If you want to live in this country… the Australian Prime Minister had given a statement once. You know what she said? “If you want to stay in this country, you have to live as per our customs. Caution. If you don’t, I will send you back to your country.” Make sure that you don’t bring such a situation in this country," he said.