Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and he himself were among several politicians who received threat calls from Saudi Arabia and Dubai in the aftermath of two deaths in police firing during violent protests against the CAA and NRC in Mangaluru in December 2019, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Wednesday.
"After the incident (Mangaluru firing), many of our MPs and MLAs received calls from Saudi Arabia and Dubai. I received the maximum phone calls but I did not find them important. Some threat calls were meant for Chief Minister," Bommai said during a debate on the law and order situation in the state initiated by leader of opposition Siddaramaiah.
The Home minister claimed that there was a larger conspiracy, which everyone needs to understand. "I won't call it a local phenomenon. It has got an international ramification and not limited to just one state. It is all over right from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala and Karnataka," the Home minister said.
Recalling the manner in which murders had taken place in the last five to six years, including of some right wing functionaries, Bommai pointed out that even Muslim MLAs in the Congress faced similar threat.
"Tanveer Saith was attacked (with a knife) and bomb was thrown at N A Harris... I know what U T Khader's brother had requested me and I had told him that Khader should be very careful," Bommai said.
The Home minister said anti-national forces were using protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens as an opportunity to create disturbance and violence in the country.
About the Mangaluru violence, he said those killed were not innocent as has been projected by the opposition because there were criminal cases registered against them.
Bommai suspected that there was a Kerala angle to the violence "as over 1,900 phone numbers from Kasaragod in that State were traced in Mangaluru on the day of violence and notices served on 375 people asking them why they were in Mangaluru on December 19."
He appealed to the opposition members not to speak in a manner that such elements get support. "If we speak in a manner to get political mileage then everybody has to pay the price tomorrow," he said. The debate on the issue saw heated exchanges between opposition Congress and the ruling BJP.
Calling the police firing in Mangaluru as "pre-planned" and directly blaming the city police commissioner for it, Siddaramaiah questioned the government on
the rule of law, as he expressed fear about danger to democracy and anarchy taking over the system. Due to pandemonium, Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri, had to adjourn the House briefly.
"It was pre-planned by the police, the court itself has remarked about police excesses, even the complaint by the family of two innocent persons killed in the golibar (firing) was not taken, 21 people mostly youths were arrested in the case and sent to jail..this is police excesses. Karnataka had never in the past had become a police state," Siddaramaiah said.
Siddaramaiah even demanded a judicial inquiry into the Mangaluru incident by a sitting judge of the High Court and the guilty should be punished.
Two people were killed in police firing in Mangaluru on December 19 last year as the protest against the CAA had turned violent, following which the city was brought under curfew and mobile internet service was suspended.
Stating that those killed did not belong to any party, Siddaramaiah demanded to know how police had opened fire, despite instructions from the Chief Minister that there should not even be a lathicharge. He suspected the role of some "unseen hand" behind the violence and police firing.
He also took on the government on the issue of recent arrest of a parent and the headmistress of a Bidar school (now on bail) in the "sedition case" for their alleged involvement in staging of a drama, portraying Prime Minister Narendra Modi in poor light in connection with the CAA and NRC.
In this context, the Congress leader recalled how the sedition charges were indiscriminately used against people including Congress MLA U T Khader and a student holding a 'Free Kashmir' poster whereas no cases were filed against ruling party leaders like Somashekara Reddy, Anant Kumar Hegde, and RSS strongman Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat despite their "inflammatory speeches."
Treasury and opposition benches clashed over Siddaramaiah quoting the High Court's observations against police, while granting conditional bail to 21 people, who were allegedly involved in Mangaluru violence, stating that the matter was sub-judice.
Participating in the debate, JD(S) leader and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy rued that innocent people were killed and framed in the Mangaluru violence. He also demanded formation of a House Panel to probe the matter and submit the report in the House in a week.