Following the agitation over police brutality against farmers, including women, in North Karnataka districts during Mahadayi protest, Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara apologised to the victims and ordered an enquiry.
Videos and photographs of police lathicharging woman and children on Saturday went viral.
Parameshwara said, “I apologize for the attacks on women and children. I have directed senior police officers not to file cases against aged citizens, women and children. Cases will be booked only against those who set fire to seven government offices during the agitation.“
The minister has also ordered the transfer of Dharwad Rural deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and suspension of Navalgund circle inspector Arunkumar Happal, reported The Times of India.
“I asked the same questions to the policemen after watching the video. They told me there was an angry mob on the other side of the road. In fact, there was no untoward incident in the past year and cops have been patient with the agitation. This incident happened on Saturday and we don't know what went wrong. Once the inquiry report comes out, we will initiate action and take corrective measures,” he added.
Additional DGP Kamal Pant has been asked to submit a report within a week.
According to news reports, women in two villages of Yamanoor and Alagwadi alleged that the police barged into their homes, and allegedly assaulted women, the elderly and anyone else they could lay their hands on.
Senior citizens and a nine-month pregnant woman were also reportedly attacked.
Following this, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister HK Patil and, Mines and Geology minister Vinay Kulkarni had to face public anger.
Karnataka witnessed protests by pro-Kannada groups against the interim order of the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal rejecting Karnataka’s plea for 7.56 thousand million cubic feet of water for a drinking water project to serve the state’s parched northern regions.