news Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - 05:30
The Congress-led state government and BJP in Karnataka are engaged in a new battle over the former's decision to withdraw 175 cases related to communal violence that occurred a few years ago. The decision to withdraw the cases against cadres of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD) was announced by Law Minister T B Jayachandra after a Cabinet meeting on Monday. The cases were registered in Mysuru, Shivamogga and Hassan districts between 2009 and 2011, when B S Yeddyurappa was the chief minister. The crux of the tussle between the two parties is that out of the 175 cases in which 1,614 people were named, almost 70% of accused were Muslims, says Congress MLA from Mysore Tanveer Sait. The BJP has condemned the Cabinet’s decision to withdraw all the cases and is accusing the government of 'communal appeasement'. BJP leader and spokesperson CT Ravi reportedly said, “It is a well-known fact that these organisations are seeded by the ISI and Taliban." Sait, who had taken personal interest in getting no objection certificates from courts to withdraw all 175 cases hit back saying that the BJP too had withdrawn cases when they were in power. He accused them of being “choosy” and “particular” when withdrawing cases against certain VHP and RSS members. “Why didn’t anyone ask BJP when cases related to nearly 2,800 people were withdrawn by them?” he asked. He claims he had written to the then home minister V S Acharya asking him why the BJP was withdrawing cases “selectively”; instead it should withdraw all cases as most of those named in complaints were young people, whose future was at stake. Sait claims he was instrumental in convincing the Cabinet to take a decision in this direction. “I personally obtained no objection certificate from government public prosecutor in all the 175 cases and submitted them to Siddaramaiah,” he said. The communal flare-ups In 2009, two separate incidents of communal violence had broken out in Mysuru between Hindu and Muslim communities.  In April, a quarrel between two men over a trivial issue turned into a communal riot which resulted in the loss of two lives.  Two months later, three people died in another bout of communal violence that broke out in July following reports of alleged mosque desecration. Cases were filed against members of the KFD and the PFI and Yeddyurappa had even said it was a “conspiracy” to tarnish the image of his government.  In 2010, Kannada daily Kannada Prabha had published Taslim Nasreen’s article on burqa in translation. Following this, another Urdu daily Siasat published an article alleging that Kannada Prabha had “published derogatory remarks against Muslims.” Communal violence broke out over this in Shivamogga and Hassan districts.