After news reports indicated that the Karnataka police were arresting activists who had indulged in violence after the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, the state government denied the allegation. The Karnataka government said that it has instructed the police to take up cases against Ram Mandir activists who allegedly indulged in the destruction of property and other cases three decades ago. Communal clashes and violence had marred the state, along with the rest of the country in December 1992 after the destruction of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
In Hubballi, the police recently arrested Srikanth Poojari in connection with a case of rioting in December 1992. A case had been filed against him and others for rioting during the violence that occurred around the time of the Babri Masjid demolition by kar sevaks. Poojari has been sent to judicial custody.
Sources in the Chief Minister’s office said there was no targeting of people who had participated in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. “It was a routine round-up in an attempt to close long pending cases,” the source said.
Hubballi-Dharwad Commissioner Renuka K Sukumar told TNM that it was a usual police procedure and they had been on a drive to clear long pending cases for the last three months.
“We keep doing this across the board whether it is murder or property offences from time to time. We have detected 47 cases over three months. In one such case filed for rioting where the accused had been missing, we arrested the person (Srikanth Poojary) and produced him. We are not reopening the case,” she said. The Commissioner said that the case filed against Poojary in 1992 was declared as a long pending case in 2006. “We are just trying to detect long pending cases. This is not in particular reference to any issue,” she said.
The Ram Temple in Ayodhya is set to be inaugurated on January 22.