Hindutva activists barge inside nurse’s home in Kalaburgi alleging conversion, booked

An FIR has named nine members of Hindu Jagrithi Sene in Kalaburagi in Karnataka after a government nurse filed a police complaint alleging intimidation and casteist abuse.
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Nine members of the Hindu Jagrithi Sene, a Hindu Right-Wing group, have been booked in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka after a woman employed as a government nurse complained of casteist abuse and physical intimidation after barging into her home. Hindu Jagrithi Sene members alleged that the nurse was involved in religious conversion and had filed a police complaint against her.

The FIR has named Shankar Choka, President of Hindu Jagrithi Sene, Basavaraj Talawar, Vishnu, Sigi Gundu, Mallikarjun Jamadar, Veeresh Gangani, Vinod Sigi, Kalyani, Vijaykumar along with others who are yet to be identified. The have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 506(criminal intimidation), 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 341 (wrongful restraint), 354 (assaults or uses criminal force to any woman), 448 (house-trespass) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke) apart from provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

A police complaint by Ashwini Tukaram, who hails from Madiga community (Scheduled Caste) and works as Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife (ANM) nurse, said on February 22, at 8pm, a group of 10-15 individuals associated with the Hindu Jagrithi Sene stormed into her residential quarters. The nurse, along with others, was engaged in prayer when the activists forcefully entered the premises. The members of the group then verbally abused Ashwini over her caste identity, the complaint said

Ashwini filed a complaint with the Ratkal police station in Kalagi taluk. The police registered an FIR on February 23 under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. According to the FIR, the activists not only hurled casteist slurs but also questioned Ashwini's religious practices, demanding to know why, as a Madiga, she was worshipping a Christian God instead of Goddess Amba Bhavani. 

The members of Sene allegedly threatened Ashwini with dire consequences if she reported the incident to the authorities, saying she would lose her job and that her personal safety would be compromised, the complaint said.  “The police came to the residence in about 15 minutes, scolded the activists and sent them home and let us continue praying,” the FIR said.

The Hindu Jagrithi Sene alleged that Ashwini and another nurse were involved in converting Hindus to Christianity in exchange for money and had filed a  complaint against the nurses for alleged conversion activities but the police are yet to register a case. 

Hindu Jagrithi Sene, along with the Sri Rama Sene, announced a 'Ratkal Chalo' campaign on Wednesday, February 28 against the police for their alleged inaction regarding the complaint filed by the activists against the nurses. They allege that a fake atrocities case was registered against them and that the nurses were trying to convert Hindus into Christians and preaching Christianity in the hospital. 

The Ratkal police told TNM that they are investigating both complaints but have not made any arrests thus far. They confirmed visiting the hospital quarters late at night on February 22.

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