Bengaluru: Following in the footsteps of his counterparts in other southern states, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said on Monday action would be taken against those blaming the entire Muslim community for isolated incidents.
"Nobody should speak a word against Muslims. This is a warning. If anyone blames the entire Muslim community for some isolated incident, I'll take action against them also without a second thought. Will not give an opportunity for that," Yediyurappa told TV9, a Kannada channel in an exclusive interview. A 37-second long clip from the interview is now doing rounds on social media.
The statement came three days after Yediyurappa met Muslim leaders and MLAs and requested them to hold prayers within their homes and reveal details of those who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi in mid-March.
"They (Muslim leaders) agreed they won't hold namaaz in masjids and said they will pray in their homes. They are cooperating," the chief minister said.
A number of attendees of the Tabhigi Jamaat event have tested positive for coronavirus across the country and has led to a lot of hate mongering (both online and offline) against the community.
Soon after, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi Palanisami issued warnings against communalising the COVID-19 cases.
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday began referring to the cases associated with the Delhi event as the ones associated with a "single source event".
Meanwhile, a video of two Muslim men, purportedly outsiders, who came for fishing in a nearby river, being threatened in Bagalkote district of Karnataka surfaced on Monday.
Four men, including the duo, can be seen surrounded by locals in Bidari village of the district, some of them armed with sticks. The locals are heard saying, "You (Muslims) are responsible for the cases in India. 90% of those have contracted the virus are you all (Muslims)".
The men are being threatened against entering the village, violating lockdown while four of them are seen folding hands and pleading for mercy.
"If you see strangers in your locality, inform the nearest police station. Police will take action. If you take law into your hands, we will take action against you without any sympathy," said Bagalkote Superintendent of Police Lokesh Jagalasar.
He also warned people against circulating video and audio messages on social media that may lead to communal disharmony.