A controversy has erupted in Karnataka over a Police communique directing withdrawal of cases registered against "innocent minorities" on charges of rioting among others with BJP today terming it as "Muslim appeasement".
The Congress government, however, rejected the BJP charge and said the circular was applicable to all minorities and also involves those arrested during agitations over inter-state water disputes.
The circular by Assistant Inspector General of Police Shivaprakash Devaraju and addressed to police commissioners of Mangaluru, Belagavi and superintendents of police of various districts asked them to withdraw cases against the ‘innocent minorities’ booked on charges of rioting and other offences.
While Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy clarified that the communique, dated yesterday, referred to all minorities including Muslims, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs, opposition BJP was quick to term it Congress party’s policy of "Muslim appeasement" ahead of coming assembly polls in the state.
"This letter smacks of Muslim appeasement and the anti-Hindu stand of chief minister Siddaramaiah," senior BJP leader and former minister Shobha Karandlaje, MP, tweeted.
She further said: "Being born as a Hindu is a sin in CM @siddaramaiah's Raj. Govt going ahead to free people involved in communal clashes from the minority community.Anti Hindu Govt.”
Reddy rubbished the charges, saying that the government brings out such circulars from time to time and this particular one had nothing to do with only Muslims.
"This circular also involves releasing those who were arrested during the agitations for Mahadayi river and Cauvery river water sharing row. We have made it clear that the cases should not pertain to murder, attempt to murder and there should not be major damage to the properties,” he told a Kannada TV channel.