Thousands of BJP workers and many leaders gathered across Karnataka for the Mangaluru Chalo Bike Rally, asking for a ban on Social Democratic Party of India and the Popular Front of India.
But the police that had denied permission for the rally, detained 523 BJP workers across the state and imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144. The saffron party has now accused that Karnataka has entered a state of emergency under CM Siddaramaiah.
The BJP has put out posters of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Indira Gandhi stating that the Siddaramaiah government is “trying to recreate history by using state machinery to suppress the voice of people”.
Image courtesy: BJP Karnataka Twitter
“Stopping the BJP- Yuva Morcha bike rally in Karnataka is trampling of democratic rights and a continuation of the emergency mindset,” BJP National General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao said.
Ballari Rural Lok Sabha MP, B Sriramulu called the police clampdown an ‘assassination of human rights’.
“Police are behaving irresponsibly based on directions given by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The undemocratic government is stopping our protest and has created emergency in Karnataka,” Udupi Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje said.
Despite hundreds of BJP workers being detained and severe nakabhandi, over 200 bike riders successfully reached Freedom Park in Bengaluru by 11.00 am.
The police dragged out the activists and seized the bikes. Hundreds of activists including former Home Minister R Ashoka, Shobha Karandlaje and Mysuru MP and BJP Yuva Morcha president Pratap Simha were taken into preventive custody by the police.
Former Karnataka home minister R Ashoka said that there were 175 cases against over 1,600 workers of PFI and SDPI when the Congress had come to power in 2013.
“What did Siddaramaiah do when he came to power? He withdrew all these cases in 2015. This gave them (SDPI and PFI) a moral boost and from 2015, the organisation's role is clear in at least eight murders of pro-Hindu activists. We demand that these cases be handed over to the NIA,” said Ashok.
“The BJP Yuva Morcha state secretary Aravind Reddy’s jaw is fractured. He was hit by the police at Freedom Park and has been admitted to the Ranga Dorai Hospital in Shankarapuram. Doctors say he has to undergo a surgery,” a BJP spokesperson said.
However, BJP workers in Mysuru and Shivamogga have said that they will continue with the bike rally on Wednesday.
Reacting strongly to the BJP’s allegations that the state government had created an emergency-like situation, Congress working President, Dinesh Gundu Rao said that the BJP was trying to inflame passions on communal lines”.
“After Amit Shah’s arrival, the BJP’s agenda has been to divide the people on communal lines, inflame passions, provoke violence and make Karnataka burn. Hence, they have planned Managluru Chalo. No government can allow such provocative actions by any group whose sole aim is to incite violence. Law and order cannot be compromised,” he said.