A delegation of Karnataka Congress leaders filed a complaint against BJP MLA Somashekara Reddy for communal statements made during a rally in Ballari on Friday.
Congress leaders including former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met Neelamani Raju, Director General and Inspector General of Police, Karnataka to submit the complaint and called for suo motu case to be taken up against the MLA.
While speaking at a rally in Ballari, Somashekara Reddy said, “Hey, we’re the 80% (Hindus)! You’re just 17% (Muslims). If we turn against you what will your situation be?” The statement was seen as a warning to Muslims to not participate in protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
In the letter submitted by Congress leaders, it was highlighted that through his speech, Somashekara Reddy threatened to disturb the peace and harmony prevailing in Ballari. "By making a speech like this, it disturbs the harmony and goodwill of the people of Ballari. It sows the seeds of caste and religion and leads to conflict. Due to this statement by Somashekara Reddy, there is a chance that peace in Ballari will be disrupted. The speech made by him is in violation of the Indian Penal Code," reads the letter.
The Congress leaders urged the police to register a case against Somashekara Reddy. The letter was signed by Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, VS Ugrappa, Zameer Ahmed Khan, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Eshwar Khandre, Basavaraj Hitnal among others.
Somashekara Reddy also confirmed the meaning of his statement to TNM. He said, “I have not stated anything against anybody. I just said we Hindus are 80% and if the 20% Muslim population damages our property, we cannot just stand by and watch.”.
Somashekhara Reddy is the youngest of the infamous Reddy brothers - Gali Janardhana, Karunakara and Somashekara. Janardhana Reddy is a former minister and the prime accused in the 2011 Ballari mining scam.
Congress leader Ugrappa highlighted that recently UT Khader was booked by police in Mangaluru for an alleged provocativel speech. "Karnataka will burn if the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019 is implemented,” Khader had reportedly said as per the complaint filed by Sandesh Kumar Shetty, district general secretary, Dakshina Kannada BJP Yuva Morcha, at the Mangaluru South (Pandeshwara) police station. Ugrappa urged the police to book Somashekara Reddy by taking suo motu cognisance.