A controversy has erupted in Karnataka after a letter written by the Karnataka DGP to the police commissioners and superintendents of police of different districts became public.

According to reports, the DGP has sought opinion from the senior officers about withdrawing cases against “innocent” people from the minority community accused of participating in communal riots in last five years.

The letter is a reminder to the senior police officers to give their opinion on the matter.

Reacting on the issue, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that Siddaramaiah’s government is openly practising appeasement politics.

BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje told News 18, “If this is not appeasement, what is? The Siddaramaiah government is planning to give amnesty to people involved in serious offences, just to get votes.”

District spokesperson of BJP Rajesh Nayak told TOI, “It would further create insecurity among the majority community which is facing the wrath of the police. It is a wrong on the part of the government to take sides and it will be opposed tooth and nail.”

According to the Opposition, the police has also arrested “innocent persons” from the majority community.

In his defence, the CM said that his government is also trying to withdraw cases against farmers and Kannada activists, not just members of the minority community.

“The BJP, which is staring at yet another defeat in Karnataka, is spreading lies after lies. The circular nowhere says it is only for the minority community. It is just BJP’s imagination,” the CM told reporters.

There has been a sharp inflection in exchange of words between the BJP and the Congress as the electoral battle for Karnataka heats up.

BJP president Amit Shah had on Thursday, 25 January, said that “Siddaramaiah and corruption are synonyms”. In response, the Karnataka CM labelled Shah “an ex-jail bird who chose another former jail bird to be his party’s CM candidate”.