Karnataka CM defends moral policing, then gets into Twitter war with Siddaramaiah

Bommai also praised the RSS and said, “RSS is a tallest nation building organization, which treats every citizen equally.”
A collage of Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai on the left and Siddaramaiah on the right
A collage of Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai on the left and Siddaramaiah on the right
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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has lent his support to a BJP legislator, who was accused of escorting men arrested in a moral policing case in Moodbidri after they got interim bail in the police station. Photographs that surfaced showed Moodbidri BJP MLA Umanath Kotian inside the police station with the two accused — Samhith Raj and Sandeep Poojary — and later escorting them out. On Wednesday, October 13, the Karnataka CM lent his support to the BJP MLA, saying when the ‘morality’ of the society is offended, there will be reactions.

When questioned by reporters about the government saying that they will not allow moral policing, but a BJP MLA was seen accompanying the accused in the case, CM Bommai said it was a delicate matter. “We all have to bear responsibility in society. People have some strong emotions and when there are certain actions, there will be reactions. The government’s job is not just protecting law and order but also to ensure there is harmony in the society. For this, everybody has to cooperate. Even our youth have to make sure that the emotions of people in the society are not offended. This is a social issue and we need morality. When there is no morality in the society, there will be reactions accordingly,” Bommai said.

Reacting to this, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote on Twitter, “Mr. Bommai, you have accepted your incapability to maintain law & order by justifying moral policing by a few anti-social elements. Please resign and save Karnataka. Innocent Women are being targeted in the name of Moral policing. The government is trying to protect anti-social elements instead of putting them behind bars. Appeasing RSS may be necessary to save your position, but you should not stoop to this low, Mr Bommai. Whenever women are subjected to moral policing henceforth, can the people of Karnataka assume that you are the true reason for the crime? It is more criminal to encourage & incite violence, and protect the perpetrators. Do you have any plans to dissolve the police department, and handover the law & order to RSS? Or are you planning to establish Jungle Raj?”

Bommai responded to this saying, “While you were the CM You became the icon of anti Hindus by getting killed Hindu activists as Tippu Sultan did in his regime, I need not learn administration or policing from you, we have an able police force to tackle the law and order which was sitting Ducks under ur government”.

He further added, “Jungle Raj was when you were blind , deaf and dumb to the killings of Hindus under your tenure, in my administration, it’s the law which takes the action while in yours it was jungle raj hence Hindus were killed on supari and many riots took place”.

He also praised the RSS and said, “RSS is a tallest Nation building Org, which treats every citizen equally unlike ur selective appeasement for votes,during calamities RSS works leading from the front, My Govt & my party works as per the constitution of India & not as per the extra constitutional bodies like NAC.”

The case of moral policing

Last Saturday, around six men including Samhith Raj and Sandeep Poojary were arrested after they waylaid a vehicle in which a group of friends belonging to different communities were travelling in Moodbidri in Dakshina Kannada district. In the car, three women and a man from Hindu and Muslim communities, whose families were friends, were reportedly enroute to Karkala. A group of men belonging to a right wing organisation stopped them and allegedly harassed them.

One of the travellers filed a complaint with the Moodbidri police and Samhith Raj and Sandeep Poojary. They were booked under sections 354 (whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman), 153 (a) (promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred between different groups on the grounds of religion) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).  The Chief Minister’s defense of the BJP legislator’s support to the moral policing accused has been met with strong criticism by opposition leaders. 

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