The BJP has reacted to Karnataka government’s plans to withdraw cases against minority community involved in communal clashes between 2013 and 2017.

The state government announced its clemency plan barely a few months left for state Assembly polls. As many as 500 cases relating to communal clashes were recorded during the period.
Senior BJP leader and party MP Shobha Karandlaje told The Statesman: “Never before has any government, including the Congress, set such a dangerous precedence. This is grossly communal. This is unacceptable.”

The government’s move drew attention after the state Home Department’s latest letter to all police heads in the districts seeking their response to the move. It is believed that was the third letter the government sent after earlier ones did not evoke response a majority of district police heads.

The government is understood to have been pushed on the defensive, finding it difficult to explain the proposals notwithstanding Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s defence, that there was a plan to withdraw cases against farmers and members of pro-Kannada organisations as well. He, however, mentioned that the government would consider the Home Department’s proposal before taking further steps.

A senior Congress leaders told The Statesman that it was common for police to arrest youths in large numbers after communal clashes. Many of them were actually innocent and had nothing to do with violence. The government proposal, they explained, would cover only those cases.

That argument ,however, has not cut much ice with the BJP which lashed out at the Congress for allegedly practising “crass minority appeasement and vote bank politics.” Demanding immediate rethinking on the proposal, Karandlaje claimed that the Siddarmiah government had earlier withdrawn cases booked against 150 people who were facing serious charges. After coming out of jail those people were involved in killing of Hindu activists, she alleged.