The continuing arrests of nationalists in Karnataka remind the people of the dark days of Emergency imposed by the Congress in June 1975
The Karnataka police are now-a-days working overnight–not to protect the civilians, but to arrest the nationalists on trivial issues. In the last week alone, the BJP sympathisers Chowkidar Mahesh Vikram Hegde, Shruthi Bellakki, journalist Hemanth Kumar and Sharada Diamond have been arrested following a complaint lodged by Home Minister MB Patil. These arrests were made in the backdrop of sharing a letter, which reportedly exposes the misdeeds of Patil for trying to divide the Hindus by demanding a separate religious status for Lingayat community.
(From L) Mahesh Vikram Hegde, Shruthi Bellakki, Hemanth Kumar and Sharada Diamond
Two more persons, Ajith Shetty Heranje and Gangadhar, were arrested for sharing the news about Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and his second wife and film actor Radhika staying in a resort near Udupi.
The BJP leaders are furious about the recent arrests and criticised the vindictive politics by Congress and JD(S). They termed it as an ‘Emergency in Karnataka’ and warned the coalition government to focus on development than trying to create fear among the citizens.
Mahesh Vikram Hegde, who is owner of news portal ‘Post Card’ was arrested for publishing a story based on an alleged letter written by Home Minister MB Patil to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. He said the letter was fake. Shruthi Bellakki was arrested and sent to jail for criticising the Home Minister on social media for dividing Hindus. She questioned the motive behind dividing the Hindus, and the police arrested her promptly. Journalist Hemant Kumar was arrested at 10pm just outside the BJP office. He regularly spends time in BJP head office in Malleshwaram and used to attend debates in TV studios defending the BJP. He was arrested for just forwarding WhatsApp message containing this letter. Woman sympathiser of BJP, Sharada Diamond, was arrested for sharing the news on social media containing this letter.
BJP leaders met Director General of Police, Neelamani N Raju, who did not give a proper response about the arrests of the BJP sympathisers. Later the delegation met CoD officer who too refused to give a proper reply and the delegation openly told him that the police department is trying to please the Minister by creating a fear psychosis in the state.
The BJP leaders are upset that the state government is indulging in a witch hunt. “They are spineless to arrest Bhagwan, Belur Gopalkrishna and Zameer Ahmed Khan for their derogatory remarks and provocative speeches. But they are arresting BJP sympathisers over trivial matters,” lamented BN Raghavendra, a BJP leader.
The coalition government in Karnataka is under pressure for not being able to take off even after one year of forming the Government. The activities of Ministers and MLA’s send the message that everything in the Government is not well and the government may collapse any time. The uncertainty and frustration among MLA’s of both the ruling parties have become a routine issue. The Congress leaders having a lunch meeting with independent candidate Sumalatha after the elections created a buzz. By releasing the news to media, JD(S) pointed its fingers at the Congress and urged the Congress party to take action against party leaders who did not support JD(S) in the Lok Sabha elections in many constituencies including in Mandya where CM Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil contested.
This is not all. Some MLA’s from Congress planned to organise a meeting, but it was canceled at the last minute. This looks like a temporary relief to Congress but nothing can be said after the Lok Sabha election results are declared.
The leaders from Congress and JD(S) have announced unholy alliance to form the government in Karnataka but the party workers are not in a mood to work together. This has resulted in friction and the government is becoming unpopular for the collapse of administration.