There was a complete breakdown of law and order in Karnataka and the state government was supporting fascism, central minister Renuka Chowdhury said in New Delhi on Saturday, a day after a Kerala legislator's daughter and her friend were harassed in Mangalore town, allegedly by Sri Rama Sene members.
"There is a complete breakdown of the law and order situation in Karnataka. I think, we should look at it as a national security problem," Women and Child Development Minister Chowdhury told reporters in New Delhi.
Describing the Mangalore incidents as fascist, the minister said: "Democracy doesn't tolerate this fascism. But we are concerned about the fascism supported by the state government."
Reiterating that "Talibanisation" is happening in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state, she said: "The state government is not in control of the law and order situation. A Hindu girl is not allowed to speak to a Muslim boy. It is a very dangerous trend. They are sowing a communal divide."
If the state government failed to control the situation, "we have various instruments of democracy that we can use and implement as an when the situation arises," Chowdhury said.
C.H. Kunhambu, a legislator of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) from Kerala, on Friday said that Sene activists had held his daughter hostage near Mangalore.
"She was going from our home in Manjeswaram (in northern Kerala) to her college hostel in Mangalore when some people verbally abused her and a boy accompanying her," Kunhambu said.
The incident comes days after Sri Rama Sene activists attacked women in a pub in Mangalore.
Chowdhury said: "I am fully expecting incidents to take place (on Valentine's Day Feb 14). I have no confidence in the state government today. I'm watching the situation.
"I will write to the chief minister (B.S. Yeddyurappa)," she said.
Terming Sri Rama Sene activists as anti-social elements and goons, she said: "I am asking a simple question... What is Sri Rama Sene? How are they empowered to make a decision that they can attack couples or women or community or religion on the streets? Who has empowered this people? Who are their funding agencies? What is the real face this men?
"They (the goons) are coming out of the jail and on bail and are advertising, they are putting up posters, issuing threat warnings," she said.
"Does the state government needs spoon-feeding to do what they have to do?" Chowdhury asked.