With barely a few months to go for the Assembly polls, the ruling Congress plans to withdraw cases against people of the minority community, who were involved in communal clashes between 2013 and 2017. As many as 500 cases relating to communal clashes were recorded during the period involving different communities.

The opposition BJP has slammed the Siddaramaiah government, accusing it of minority appeasement. According to senior leader and party MP Shobha Karandlaje, never before has any government, including Congress, has set such a dangerous precedence. This is grossly communal and unacceptable,” she told newsmen here on Saturday.

The government’s move became apparent after the state home department wrote to all the police heads in the districts seeking their response to the move. In fact, this is the third letter of its kind, as the earlier ones did not evoke any response from majority of the police heads, it is learnt.

The government, pushed on the defensive, is finding it difficult to explain the proposals even though chief minister, Mr Siddaramaiah, claimed that there is a plan to withdraw cases against farmers and members of pro-Kannada organisations as well. He, however, hastened to add that the government would consider the state home department before taking the step forward.
Other senior Congress leaders told The Statesman that it was common to see several youths being arrested or detained during communal clashes in the past. Many of the youths were actually innocent and had nothing to do with the violence. The government proposal, they explained, would cover only such cases.

This 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 Demanding the immediate rethinking of the proposal, Ms Karandlaje said the Siddaramaiah government had withdrawn cases booked against 150 people who were facing serious charges earlier. After coming out of jail, these people were responsible for killing Hindu activists, she said.