BENGALURU: The state government on Saturday withdrew the controversial letter sent out to Police Commissioners and Superintendents of Police across the state asking for their opinion on dropping cases registered against members of the minority community involved in communal clashes.
According to sources, the protests by the BJP terming the earlier move as minority appeasement was brought to the attention of the Congress high command which took a serious view of the matter. The party high command was concerned that the BJP will effectively use the minority appeasement accusation in their election campaign and that the move was akin to the government shooting itself in the foot. Saturday’s U-turn by the government is said to be based on inputs given by the Congress headquarters.
On Friday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy had defended the earlier circular. Siddaramaiah had said that the government was looking at withdrawing cases booked against farmers, members of pro-Kannada organisations and others also. Ramalinga Reddy had said that a final decision will be taken by the State Cabinet after obtaining the views of the Law Department on the opinion given by the police officials. Other ministers had said that this was a routine exercise and cases will be withdrawn against members of all communities.
Figures released by the Home Department on Saturday showed that between 2015 and 2017, a total of 414 cases had been withdrawn against the accused while the total number of accused stood at 3,164. Of this, 2,806 cases were against Hindus and 341 were against members of the Muslim community.