MANGALURU: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who had said his government will deal with ‘moral policing’ with an iron hand following an incident in Bengaluru a month ago, did a volte-face in Mangaluru on Wednesday saying, “Action and reaction are bound to happen when there is no morality in society.”
When reporters sought his reaction to BJP MLA Umanath Kotian escorting two persons accused in a ‘moral policing’ incident from a police station after their release on interim bail, the chief minister refused to give a direct reply and said, “It is a sensitive matter. There are many sentiments in society. One needs to behave in a manner that will not hurt such sentiments. If the sentiments are hurt, then action and reaction are bound to happen.”
In the same breath, he said that apart from maintaining law and order, maintaining social harmony is also the government’s responsibility and appealed to everyone to cooperate with the government. “Youth should behave so as not to hurt the sentiments of society. This is a social issue,” he stated.
BJP cadres share CM’s clip on social media
“There should be morality. We cannot live without morality. When there is no morality, action and reaction will happen,” Bommai added. While his statement gave grist to the opposition to attack the government amid a spike in ‘moral policing’ incidents especially in the coast, it came as a boost to BJP cadre, many of whom shared the clip of Bommai’s statement on social media sites.
Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) state president Muneer Katipalla said, “The chief minister, who had given a lecture on law when two Muslim youngsters attacked a couple belonging to different faiths in Bengaluru, has made a complete U-turn about Sangh Parivar’s immoral acts in Mangaluru.
His statement that when sentiments are hurt, action and reaction are bound to happen is a ‘readymade’ dialogue. If a chief minister who has taken a pledge on the Constitution uses such words to justify immoral policing, then what will be the fate of the state? His statement will further provoke communal forces. What will happen if communities start competing with each other under the guise of action and reaction? He should apologise to people.”
Any plans to dissolve police dept, asks Siddu
Former CM Siddaramaiah strongly criticised Bommai for his remarks on moral policing saying that the latter has accepted his incapability to maintain law and order by justifying moral policing. In a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah alleged that the government is trying to protect anti-social elements instead of
putting them behind bars.
“Appeasing RSS may be necessary to save your position, but you should not stoop this low ... Do you have any plans to dissolve police department, and handover the law and order to RSS? Or are you planning to
establish a Jungle Raj?”
Siddu slams bommai
Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah has strongly criticised CM Basavaraj Bommai for his remarks on moral policing, saying that the government is trying to protect anti-social elements instead of putting them behind bars. Former High Court judge Justice Nagamohan Das and activist Vinay Sreenivasa said that instead of condemning moral policing, the CM is attempting to justify it.