BJP MLAs ask Yediyurappa to withdraw cases against Hindu activists
Days after chief minister BS Yediyurappa scrapped the birth anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan, two MLAs have separately urged him to drop cases filed against over 2,000 Hindu activists since 2014. The MLAs are KG Bopaiah and Roopali Naik.
In his letter, Bopaiah has petitioned the chief minister to order the withdrawal of cases against Hindu activists charged for protesting against Tipu Jayanti. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Sangh parivar consider the 18th century ruler of Mysore a tyrant who has killed many Hindus and forced many to convert to Islam. Scholars have questioned this assumption.
In 2015, the Sangh had opposed former chief minister Siddaramaiah’s move to start Tipu Jayanti celebrations. Severe protests had then erupted across the state, especially in Kodagu district where one person died.
In his letter, Bopaiah said, “Innocent people were made a target and cases were filed against them. They have faced a lot of hardship as a result. Hence, I appeal to you to take this up in the next meeting of the Cabinet and begin the process of withdrawing these cases.”
Naik has written to the CM in relation to protests that erupted in Uttara Kannada district after the body of 19-year-old Paresh Mestha was found in a lake in Honnavar town in December 2017. BJP leaders had then alleged that Mestha was killed by “jihadi elements”.
“In relation to this case, cases were booked against over 2,000 activists in various police stations in the district. Those facing these cases are facing immense distress… Hence, I appeal to you to take this up in the next Cabinet meeting and withdraw the cases,” she said.
The police superintendents of Uttara Kannada and Kodagu districts said they had not received orders on this matter. S Selvakumar, secretary to the chief minister, said he was not aware if orders had been issued. “I am aware that some letters have been written, but I am not aware if any orders have been passed,” he said.
Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy, who was the state home minister at the time of the Paresh Mestha case, said it was not right for a government to take such a decision. “Those who were involved in arson and violence should be punished. All governments must act in a non-partisan manner,” he said.