Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy (pictured above) on Tuesday said the Assembly was ready to examine requests to withdraw minor cases against members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party amid allegations that the state government was appeasing minorities.
In January, the Karnataka government had issued a circular ordering all minor cases, where a chargesheet has not been filed against individuals, be dropped. The government circular had earlier asked police divisions in the state to list details of cases from the past five years where people from “minority communities” were booked for communal violence. The circular was later edited.
Reddy on Tuesday said the circular was issued following a cabinet sub-committee’s directive to the Home Ministry. “Even members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal and BJP can make representations [for withdrawal of cases]. We will examine them,” he said, according to The Indian Express.
He, however, added that cases of murder, attempt to murder and other grievous crimes will not be considered for withdrawal.
Meanwhile, the BJP legislators alleged that the government had failed to maintain law and order in the state as a result of which more and more Hindutva and BJP activists were being killed. The BJP alleged that 23 Hindutva activists had been killed under the Siddaramaiah government’s regime.
However, Reddy said only 11 of the 25 murders were political in nature, while the rest were personal disputes, The Times of India reported. “It is baseless to say that the state government is focusing only on minorities,” he said, according to the Deccan Chronicle. “We have already withdrawn the earlier circular and issued a fresh one. Any group can approach us if they think that any innocent person has been booked by the police. This is open to the BJP too.”