Angry right-wing protesters called for Rai’s resignation after a video of the Minister directing the arrest of an RSS leader surfaced.

A communal clash a video and a protest Politics after Kalladka violence in Karnataka
news Politics Monday, June 19, 2017 - 17:07

The video clip of Karnataka Environment Minister Ramanath Rai directing Dakshina Kannada SP to arrest RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat for the recent communal clashes has irked pro-Hindu groups in the district.

Activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, on Monday, briefly blocked the road at PVS circle in Mangaluru, protesting Rai’s speech.

The activists, who had blocked the road, began shouting slogans and waving flags, alleging that the Minister was abusing his power to get “innocents like Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat arrested for no reason at all.”

Read: Kalladka violence: K’taka Minister asks Dakshina Kannada SP to book RSS leader for murder

Angry protesters also called for Rai’s resignation and also demanded that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah sack the Minister if he refuses to step down.

As news of the road block spread, the police intervened and arrested the protestors in a few minutes, ensuring that the traffic flow was not affected.

VHP and Bajrang Dal leaders including Sharan Pumpwell and Bhujanga Kulal were detained by the police.

“The protest was organised without seeking permission from the police, and hence the protesters were arrested under the orders of the DCP. We have deployed security in the area,” Mangaluru Police Commissioner TR Suresh said.

Also, in Bantwal taluk, the BJP’s SC Morcha district President, Dinesh Amtoor, filed a complaint with the Bantwal town Police on Monday. In his complaint, Amtoor has accused Rai of making provocative and libelous statements and has requested the police to arrest Rai.

Meanwhile, in Kundapur, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal carried out a protest at Shastri Circle and demanded Rai’s resignation.

“The Congress party, which put people seeking justice behind bars during the emergency 42 years ago, is exiting the country now. It has been misusing its power in the state for four years. Now, Ramanath Rai, who holds considerable power, is pressurizing the SP to arrest Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat by framing him under some sections of law. This has to be condemned,” said Subrahmanya Holla, the VHP’s Divisional Executive Chief.

The VHP leader also held the Congress responsible for the murder of right-wing activists in the district.

“For the last four years, innocent activists of Hindu organizations are being murdered one by one. The government has not shown any commitment to pursue these cases and punish the guilty. It has been indirectly supporting communal violence, protecting the culprits and troubling honest persons. It is the Congress, which is responsible for giving the recent unrest a communal hue, with an eye to gather votes for the upcoming election,” he added.

BJP leader, Rajesh Kaveri, who was also present at the protest, demanded Rai’s immediate dismissal from the cabinet for misusing power. He also demanded Rai's arrest, failing which, he warned that strong measures of protest would be taken.