Analysis

Milli Council’s memo on Karnataka situation

The All India Milli Council (AIMC) Karnatka has sent the following petition to the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Minister for Minority Affairs as well as to the Governor, Karnataka on 21 October 2009:
The grave concern expressed by our Hon. Prime Minister over the law and order situation in Karnataka during the recently held Chief Minister's meet, is of course based on facts. The law and order situation in Karnataka has been deteriorating after the formation of BJP Government in the state and the situation is moving towards the worst day by day. Bajrang Dal, Ramasena, Hindu Yuva Sena, Hindu Jagran Manch, A. B. V. P. and other letterhead organisations of the Sangh Parivar have been provided free hand by the authorities to exploit the life, property, dignity and sentiments of the minorities especially Muslims. Communal tension, violence and arson have become order of the day, there is a severe feeling of insecurity among the minority communities of the state. Last year even during the holy days of Ramadan communal violence was reported almost everyday from one or the other part of the state, and the incidents continued even after Ramadan. The worst were incidents of Kanauli Village of Haveri District and Gangondanahalli of Bangalore city. In the former incident 120 innocent Muslims who had gathered for the evening prayer at the village Mosque were arrested without any provocation and in the later incident police personnel had attacked the houses of Muslims, at Nagamangala town of Mandya district too atrocities by Police were reported, at Tumkur district, Tiptur town and Sira witnessed repeated incidents of communal violence and damage was caused to business establishments belonging to the Muslim community. Anti-social elements tried to create tension in Bangalore city by throwing severed heads of Pigs at two different Mosques in the city. 

Kyathmaranahalli area of Mysore city witnessed the worst communal situation when a personal quarrel was given communal twist. Though the situation was initially brought under control, later in a pre-planned conspiracy a head severed piglet was thrown in the mosque premises which ignited the environment and the violence that followed claimed three innocent lives including a 15 year old boy killed in police firing, later the police arrested more than 400 innocent Muslim youth who were charged under false and fabricated cases. Fortunately the Hon. State High Court took serious notice of the situation and about 200 youth were released, but still under the pressure of the state government harassment of Muslim community by the authorities is yet continuing. In the early days of ongoing holy month of Ramadan during a Ganesh visarjan procession miscreants pelted stones on a mosque and created tension in the Tannery road area of Bangalore city, later Police arrested many innocent Muslim youth and the authorities forced Muslim traders of the area to keep their business shut. During the Milad-un-Nabi (P. B. U. H) celebration, peaceful procession taken out by the Muslim community was also attacked by miscreants at many places in the state.

These are but only few of the hundreds of incidents occurring around the state, during the last 1 year. On the one hand the fascist forces are targeting life, property and dignity of Muslims and on the other hand the authorities are harassing innocent Muslims by arresting them. Though the situation is same through out the state the worst hit are costal districts of the state specially Mangalore, Udupi. It is being felt that there is nothing called "Law" in this region. The self proclaimed protectors of culture and religion, the anti social organisation are attacking Muslims in the name of protecting Hindus, Churches and Christians are being targeted in the name of conversion and even the women are being attacked under the cover of sanskriti and culture These are all the incidents widely published by our National Media, the law is being torn to pieces everyday. Police, Deputy commissioners and the Government officials have become mute spectators. There are questions arising in the minds of the people whether these coastal districts are included in the state governance or not and is there a democratic government here or not?

Everyone is aware of the well planned attacks on the Christian community last year in this region, then attacks on Muslim managed educational institutions of Mangalore followed, the infrastructure of these institutions was badly damaged, and the attacks on Muslim community is still continuing. Hereunder is a brief report of some of the incidents of communal violence during the last few months in the coastal region.

The situation of Mangalore and Udupi reached its climax during the month of March, though tension prevailed even before, the Virat Hindu Samajotsav held at Mangalore on the 14th of March was the turning point. VHP, General secretary Surender Kumar Jain, RSS leader M. B. Puranik and others whole heartedly expressed their hatred and spit venom against Islam and Muslims. The provocative speeches delivered by these Hindu leaders ignited the feeling of the members of pro-Hindutva organisations, gathered at the Samajotsav, just after its conclusion the participants while returning targeted business establishments, places of Prayers and other properties belonging to the Muslim community at different places. A marriage party from Vitla going towards Haveri was attacked, these people including women and children took shelter at the Polo Mosque of Kaput, but the miscreants attacked the mosque and pelted stones, damaging the windows of the mosque, a mobile phone shop at the mosque complex belonging to a Muslim was looted. During the attack Sori Praveen Pawar, S. P. of Udupi Dist. was also injured by a stone, but the police instead of taking action against the miscreants arrested 27 people present at the mosque including the Imam, aged people and students whose exams were going on. A century old Jamia Masjid of Madikal near Bendur was also attacked, the miscreants broke down its main door and entered the mosque and destroyed the material present there, the holy Quran was desecrated and many holy books were thrown into the sea.  Though the Virat Hindu Samajotsavs held at different parts of the state had been leading to communal violence and were widely opposed even by Congress and Janata Dal leaders, the state government had not taken any steps to stop these Samjotsavs. The Home Minister had justified not only conducting of these but also the participation of B. J. P. Ministers in these Samajotsavs. Home Minister V. S. Acharya and BJP state president Sadananda Gowda had participated at the Mangalore Samajotsav.

Attacks on Muslims have continued since then:
  • A cricket team of Muslim youth from Mulki was attacked.
  • Two youth eating snacks of Kundapur were attacked and injured, Sori Satish Kumar, Police Inspector of Kundapur acted swiftly and arrested the miscreants but he was forced to release them with out framing any charges.
  • Arabic Madrasa at Kota was attacked and set on fire, Two Teacher's sleeping in the Madrasa were saved miraculously, the Police instead of initiating action against the miscreants warned the Madrasa management that the incident should not get any publicity and the walls which had turned black due to the fire should be cleaned immediately.
  • A Church at Gangully was attacked and the idol present inside was broken, Everyone knew who were behind these attacks, but the police arrested 5 innocent Muslim youth, they were beaten up and mentally tortured, but later released stating that they are innocent.
  • Communal forces in these two districts have been trying hard to divide the society by creating Hindu- Muslim enmity and as such are damaging the secular structure and national integrity and communal harmony. Where ever Hindu and Muslim youth or students are seen together, these anti-social elements attack the Muslims. Such incidents have occurred at hotels, ice ream parlours and in buses. A Muslim youth who had come to greet a newly wed Hindu couple was beaten up severely at Mangalore on the 15th of last month. Dr Justice S. R. Nayak, Chairman State Human Rights Commission has expressed his grave concern over the incident.
  • Muslim meat traders are not only being attacked but are booked under false and fabricated charges.
  • ABVP and Ramasena workers in these two districts have been forcing the Managements of Educational Institutions to ban wearing of headScarf by Muslim girl students in the college campus. One ABVP worker tried to attack a Muslim girl in her class room at SVS Government college of Bantwal, later the college principal banned the head scarf in the campus. The district commission has issued notice to the principal against his action. Government college of Uppinangadi had also banned the head scarf, a Muslim woman wearing the head scarf was also attacked, though covering the head by woman is not only an Islamic ritual but it is also a symbol of woman’s sanctity and a part of Indian culture.

The anti-social and communal forces have geared up at the start of the on going Holy month of Ramadan. An auto carrying food Material for Iftar was attacked. Last week a petty quarrel during a sports meet was given communal twist and communal violence erupted at Bantwal, the situations is yet to be controlled. Attacks on lone Muslims on roads are still continuing in different parts of these two districts.

The grave communal and law and order situation in the state requires immediate remedial action, specially the two coastal districts of Mangalore and Udupi should be provided special status with regard to the law and order situation an independent security cell should be set up under the home department to monitor the law and order situation in this region.Hope your Goodself considering the serious need, will initiate immediate action.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2009 on page no. 18

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