BENGALURU: Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday lashed out at the police for using force to crack down on protesters over the installation of a statue of Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna at Peeranwadi in Belagavi. “The police are using force and caning people who want the statue to be installed. This is unacceptable and I condemn it.
I spoke to district incharge minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, the jurisdictional district collector and the police commissioner to sort out this issue carefully,” he said. “I urge all supporters who want the statue to be installed to conduct themselves peacefully,” he added. Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had given clear directions on the issue.
Ramesh Jarkiholi held a meeting on Friday with the groups concerned and urged them to sort out the issue amicably. “On Friday, two groups with conflicting interests gathered and the police had to take control. I have spoken to the jurisdictional commissioner, deputy commissioner and police officials. Police bandobast is elaborate and the district authorities have spoken to community leaders on either side.
We need to remember Sangolli Rayanna and Shivaji Maharaj were both patriots who fought for this land. Let us not dishonour their names,” Jarkiholi said. Senior minister R Ashoka said, ‘’We took up the issue and discussed it a couple of days ago. No one should take the law into their own hands.’’ Kannada and Culture minister C T Ravi said, “I would like to ask the people protesting against the statue what their issue is. The CM has given permission and also assured of assistance to install the statue. Sangolli Rayanna was a freedom fighter. I strongly suspect the motives of the protesters. I also suspect the forces that were trying to destabilise the government through the DJ Halli riots are at work here as well.”
The protest by Marathi supporters over the installation of Sangolli Rayanna statue is unpardonable. It’s our land, and we don’t need anyone’s permission to honour the great warrior Rayanna. It’s an assault on Kannadiga pride and those defaming our heroes should be taught a lesson. There is no question of compromise on the issue of our land, language and waters
H D Kumaraswamy, JDS leader