Hindu leader calls for boycott of Muslim vendors, Bengaluru cops refuse to file FIR

Activist Zia Nomani said he will approach the magistrate court on April 11, as the Bengaluru police had handed him a non-cognisable offence report on the hate speech by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti coordinator Chandru Moger.
Hindu leader Chandru Moger
Hindu leader Chandru Moger
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The Bengaluru City police have refused to register an FIR against the coordinator of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, who made an open call to boycott Muslim fruit vendors. Zia Nomani, an activist from the Bandhua Mukti Morcha and Bengaluru district spokesperson of the AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen), had filed a complaint at the Sanjaynagar police station on Wednesday, April 6, seeking action against Chandru Moger. But despite approaching top officials including the City Police Commissioner, no action was taken, Nomani said. In the controversial video widely shared on social media, Chandru Moger had stated that the fruit business has been "monopolised" by Muslims who "spit on fruits and bread before selling it", proceeding to ask people to buy fruits only from Hindu vendors. 

After the police handed Nomani a non-cognisable offence report on Friday night stating that an FIR couldn't be lodged in the case, he has decided to file a private complaint before the magistrate court, pleading for an FIR to be registered. Speaking to TNM, Nomani said, "On Friday night, Inspector Balraj handed me the non-cognisable offence report and informed me that an FIR couldn't be lodged in the case. So we have decided to knock on the court’s doors instead. A private complaint will be submitted on Monday, pleading the court for an order to the police to lodge an FIR in the case."

The Sanjaynagar police earlier said that they had received the complaint and forwarded the same to experts for a legal opinion. “Since the matter is connected to an ongoing controversy, we approached public prosecutors from the High Court for legal opinion. They said Moger's words will not attract an FIR, and so, we registered the non-cognisable report,” said a senior police officer, according to a report published by the Times of India. According to Section 155(2) in the CrPC, when information is given of the commission of a non-cognisable offence, the police should refer the informant to the Magistrate. The section states that no police officer shall investigate a non-cognisable case without the order of a Magistrate of the first or second class, or a Presidency Magistrate.

Meanwhile, members of Hindu right-wing group Sri Ram Sene on Saturday reportedly vandalised stalls owned by Muslim vendors outside the Nuggikeri Hanuman Temple on the outskirts of Dharwad city. In a video of the incident posted on Twitter, men wearing saffron scarves can be seen destroying watermelons and other fruits outside the temple.

Making an oblique reference to the social unrest prevailing in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Saturday that "all are equal in the government's view and maintaining law and order in the state is our objective”. Replying to a question in the Assembly on Sri Ram Sena founder Pramod Mutalik's call for a campaign to ban the Wakf Board, Bommai said: "People practise their respective traditions, but the government is being run in accordance with the laws. The government has nothing to do with these campaigns."

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