Anti-CAA protests: Kerala slams Karnataka’s handling of Mangaluru violence
Kerala political parties except the BJP lashed out at the Karnataka government on Friday for detaining journalists from the state and over allegations that Keralites had instigated Thursday’s violence in neighbouring Mangaluru which claimed two lives.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the detention of journalists should be condemned by all who believe in democracy.
“Even during the worst situation they were allowed to carry out their work,” Vijayan added.
Karnataka police maintains that it only detained eight journalists for not carrying accreditation cards and they were released at the Kerala border after verification of identities but the scribes claim they were treated like “criminals” and detained for more than seven hours despite carrying valid papers.
“We were told some websites had carried news saying some miscreants have entered the city in the garb of journalists. We were even denied basic needs like water. We were later taken in a vehicle and handed over to the Kerala police at inter-state borders,” said Asianet reporter Mujeeb Rehman.
Senior journalist and columnist TJS George also condemned the police crackdown and said the media can’t be stifled like in a democratic country.
Karnataka home minister Basavaraj Bommai’s allegation that people from Kerala were behind the Mangaluru violence also came in for criticism.
“The Karnataka government is blaming others for its utter failure,” said state revenue minister E Chandrasekaran.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala also denounced the minister’s statement.
Two protestors were killed in police firing in Mangaluru after anti-CAA protestors started pelting stones on the police on Thursday. Police claim they fired in self-defence.
Five districts of Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad in Kerala stayed on high alert on Friday in view of the Mangaluru violence.
Spontaneous but peaceful rallies were held at several places including Kozhikode, Kollam, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram against the Citizenship Amendment Act that seeks to provide citizenship to illegal Buddhist, Hindu, Sikhs, Jain, Parsi and Christian migrants who came to India alleging religious persecution before 2015 from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.