BENGALURU: Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Monday claimed that Siddaramaiah-led Congress government withdrew cases that were filed against 1,600 PFI workers while in power, and even released a poster titled "PFI Bhagya" with the former Chief Minister's picture on it.
The Minister released also some documents to support his claims that the previous Congress government had withdrawn cases against the PFI workers.
"PFI Bhagya" on the poster is a pun on various welfare schemes launched by Siddaramaiah government during his tenure, as most of them had the word bhagya (welfare) in their name.
"When the BJP was in power in July 2009, 175 cases were filed against 1,600 PFI and KFD (Karnataka Forum for Dignity) workers for rioting in Shivamogga and Mysuru," Ashoka said.
Noting that in December 2012 Congress MLA Tanveer Sait wrote to the government seeking withdrawal of cases claiming that the accused were innocent, he said in 2015, the Siddaramaiah government ordered withdrawal of the 175 cases despite the opinions of the Director General of Police and Law Secretary against it.
Ashoka stated that the PFI workers were trained in Kodagu, Mysuru, and Mangaluru on how to slit somebody's throat while riding a bike and how to cause riots like they did at K G Halli and D J Halli in Bengaluru.
There were even reports that retired police officers from Kerala trained them on how to kill without attracting legal action, he said.
Pointing out that Siddaramaiah as Chief Minister had defended the PFI, while AICC general secretary K C Venugopal had said there was no question of banning the Islamic outfit, the Minister further asked, "With what intention are the Congress leaders now saying that it was they who demanded the ban on PFI?"He even demanded an apology from Congress leaders, including Siddaramiah, for having committed the mistake by withdrawing cases against the PFI.