Bengaluru: A government circular has become the latest point of confrontation between the Congress and the BJP in poll-bound Karnataka.
The circular, sent to district police chiefs and some commissioners of police, seeks their opinion on withdrawing criminal cases against those accused of communal violence. The BJP has alleged that the move is aimed at helping Muslims who face rioting cases, a charge dismissed by the Congress as “false propaganda”.
The circular was sent by Inspector General Police (IGP) Shivaprakash at the state police headquarters to 22 Superintendents of Police (SPs) and a few police commissioners, seeking their views on the possibility of withdrawing cases related to rioting, unlawful assembly, damage to public property etc.
Accusing the Siddaramaiah government of appeasing minorities for votes, BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje said, “If this is not Muslim appeasement, then what is? The Siddaramaiah government is planning to give amnesty to people involved in serious offences, just to get votes. Nobody can tolerate this. We will fight against it.”
Senior BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition in the state’s upper house KS Eshwarappa called it Congress government’s “double game communal politics”.
Former chief minister and Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda said Siddaramaiah has “gone into depression” ahead of elections.
Launching a counter attack on the BJP, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said his government was also trying to withdraw cases against farmers and Kannada activists. “We are withdrawing cases against all innocent people, not just innocent Muslims. We are also withdrawing cases against farmers and Kannada activists. The BJP, which is staring at yet another defeat in Karnataka, is spreading lies after lies. The circular nowhere says it is only for Muslims. It is just BJP’s imagination,” the CM told reporters.