Historian Ramachandra Guha on Thursday denied claims made by Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai that the latter apologised to Guha for Bengaluru police's conduct towards the historian during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in December 2019.
"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," Guha said in a social media post.
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. 1/2â€” Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) February 20, 2020
"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 Stateâ€™s arbitrary action on that day," he added.
Home Minister Basavaraj Bomma claimed in the floor of the House that he had apologised to Ramachandra Guha for the police's actions, Indian Express reported.
On December 19, 2019, Ramachandra Guha took to the streets along with other citizens to protest against the CAA and NRC at Bengaluru's Town Hall. The protesters showed up despite prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC that were in place at the time. Under these orders assembly of five or more people is prohibited.
During the protest, Ramachandra Guha walked up to Town Hall where hundreds of policemen were stationed. He held up a poster with a picture of BR Ambedkar, with the words 'CAA against Constitution'. He was interviewed by a television channel. However, he was yanked away by three policemen who surrounded him mid-interview.
Last week, the Karnataka High Court termed the restrictions imposed under section 144 in December by Bengaluru Commissioner Bhaskar Rao as illegal. Similar orders were put in place in all districts of Karnataka ahead of protests planned against the CAA and NRC.
Further, the official Twitter handle of BJP Karnataka had, at the time, described Ramachandra Guha as an 'urban naxal' for voicing his dissent against the CAA and NRC. Posting a video on social media of an interview given by Guha at the venue of the protest, the BJP had tweeted "#UrbanNaxals who operate in a dark world are completely unknown to the common man.They make their presence felt through inciting violence and organizing protests at the behest of their masters. They are getting exposed now."
Q: Who are you?â€” BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) December 20, 2019
A: I am @Ram_Guha ( Ramachandra Guha).#UrbanNaxals who operate in a Dark World are completely unknown to the Common Man.
They make their presence felt through inciting violence & organizing protests at the behest of their Masters.
They are getting exposed now. pic.twitter.com/AgnVVTkJHT