|Fact Finding Report| Attacking Pubs and Birthday Parties ~ Communal Policing by Hindutva Outfits

November 5, 2012 by · Comments Off on |Fact Finding Report| Attacking Pubs and Birthday Parties ~ Communal Policing by Hindutva Outfits
Filed under: Communal Violence, Human Rights, Minorities, PUCL Mangalore, Report 

[Read the full report Here]

On January 24, 2009, Pramod Muthalik’s men belonging to the Sri Ram Sene in coordination with Subash Padil (then of the Sri Rama Sene) stormed into a pub in Mangalore and violently attacked girls, on the ground that drinking was against Hindu culture. Three years later on July 28, 2012, Subash Padil (now with the Hindu Jagarana Vedike) and his men, in a cruel imitation of Sri Rama Sene’s act, stormed into a birthday party in Padil, a locality in the heart of Mangalore, and attacked both boys and girls. While these two attacks captured national and even international attention, unfortunately they were not exceptional in what they set out to do. They were only exceptional in the share of media attention they received. In the time span between these two attacks, there were at least one hundred and twelve such attacks on young persons found socializing together, and on young women in particular. The attacks were not captured by the electronic media and were reported in small columns in newspapers, mostly in the local press, and on a few occasions, made it to the national news.

This Report will first document what happened in the attack on the birthday party through the eyes of the victims and media, and then document the responses to the attack by the Hindutva groups as well as by state institutions such as the State Women’s Commission. The Report will then place the attack in the context of the breakdown of law and order in Dakshina Kannada and then make out a case for the changes that need to be brought about.

[Read the full report Here]

State Terrorism – Tyranny

Justice Saldhana at the request of PUCL Karnataka and Transparency International led a People’s Trinunal into attacks on churches in Karnataka.

The full report has now been released and can be read here.

PUCL Karnataka Statement of Somashekar Commission

8th February 2011


B.K. Somashekar Report

We are greatly disappointed with the final report released by Justice B.K.Somashekar commission Enquiring the attack on churches.

While the interim report clearly held responsible some hindu fundamentalist organisations, Police, state administration and the Govt. The final report appears to have absolved the govt and the Police.

An attempt appears to have been made to ignore the role of hindu fundamentalist organisations and state in the final report. a There appears to be a clear cut understanding between the Commission and the Govt to patch up the damage done by the interim report.

The final report very clearly failed to uphold and protect the Constitutional rights of minorities and appears to have gone beyond its limits in saying that there should be law to ban conversions.

Since Independence, every time the Govts have appointed a Judicial Commission they have invariably failed to do justice to their job and even while  Justice was done those reports have either not seen the light of day or never implemented by the Govt. In the process the question of appointing judicial commissions has become an futile exercise.

The Commission seems to have imagined certain things in spite of overwhelming evidence recorded by the media and presented before the Commission when it says that some attacks/ injuries were self inflicted.

In short the Commission has contradicted itself and brought out a hotch potch report with a clear intention of protecting the Govt, its administration and the fundamentalist organizations from getting banned from the state.

In view of this, we request the Govt to institute a CBI inquiry as the report has failed to pin point the culprits  and in fact created an irreparable communal divide which may permanently damage the secular fabric of India.

For People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka

P.B. Dsa

Dr V. Lakshminarayana
General Secretary

|Press Note| Response to Somashekhar Commission Findings

People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Bangalore, wish to express their deepest disappointment with the principal findings of the Somashekhar Commission Report released recently, which absolves the state government and all the major right wing hindutva political parties and groups of all responsibility in the communal attacks on churches in Karnataka in 2008. The report oversteps the boundaries of its authority when it justifies the attacks on churches as caused by hurt sentiments of members of the majority religious community, due to the alleged practice of religious conversions. The red herring of conversions is thus used to justify the attacks, even though the Indian constitution explicitly upholds the right to profess and convert others to your faith. The report instead rationalizes and condones criminal behavior of fundamentalist intolerance and communal violence. The recent responsible expunging by Supreme Court (Jan 26, 2011) of two of its statements related to religious conversions serves as an important reminder on the ‘freedom of faith’ for all citizens.

The report does not deal with the climate of increasing intolerance towards minority religious groups in society ignored by the State. It is reprehensible that the commission seeking judicial enquiry into church attacks seeks instead regulation mechanisms to restrain faith conversions, far out side its purview. Similarly finding instances of police action against Christian protestors as ‘justified’ and the ‘lack of evidence’ of ‘any other force’ behind excessive use of police force cannot be acceptable as impartial. The implicit agenda of the Commission thus appears to be to protect the collusive role of the state government, especially the police, even while seemingly condemning specific officials.

Judicial reports have the potential for providing the necessary checks and restraints on elements that threaten the fabric of a tolerant and free society. Independence, integrity and impartiality of judicial reports, with a strict demand for responsibility, and punishment, are vital to preserve the sanctity of law and justice, especially in situations where the majority religious community’s action jeopardizes the constitutional guarantees for all Indian citizens.

– PUCL Bangalore

|Statement| Communal Mob Attack in Bangalore

People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Bangalore, strongly condemns the brutal and organised mob attack on Brother Phillip Noronha by members of Jaya Karnataka Vedike, in presence and with support of inspector BN Gopalakrishna, inspector of Whitefield Police Station. Brother Phillip was kidnapped in a van, beaten up and roughed up by these vigilante elements and finally taken to his school where media were present and recorded the lawless actions. The Inspector also assaulted the brother in the presence of TV and media people, without any apparent provocation. This grave assault on Br. Philip mirrors the worsening climate of intolerance within the state, in particular the undeclared police sanction and cooperation for such hooliganism. The grave, unjust and serious physical violence of this recent episode is a matter of utter shame and disgrace to the current State administration and our Police Force.

The modus operandi of the attack itself recalls the way communal forces have engaged in moral policing in Dakshina Kannada district often with the cooperation of the police. It is in this context that the attack on Brother Phillp assumes a serious dimension when the attackers seem to have the backing of the media as well as the police going by the fact that the attack was played out in front of the media and in the presence of the police.

The quality of individual rights available to all citizens of this country depend upon the integrity and impartiality of the police force, and severe acts of omission and commission of this kind in curtailing and controlling vigilante violence reflects very poorly on the role of the police in ensuring respect for the law of the land.

PUCL demands immediate investigation into the beating of Brother Phillip Noronha, particularly into the role of police, who participated in this heinous attack either overtly or covertly. We further demand that all perpetrators of this attack be arrested based upon the FIR which has been registered against them. We also demand most severe disciplinary action be meted out to concerned police officials, to discourage future police complicity in vigilante violence.

Bajrang Dal attack on students in Mangalore

January 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communal Violence, Minorities, Report 

Another case of Moral Policing

Fact finding report on Bajrang Dal attack on students of Vivekananda Pre-University College, Mangalore on 15th November 2009
Prepared by : PUCL, Dakshina Kannada

[Read Full Text]

Asghar Ali Engineer on Communal Riots

|Book Release| Fear and forgiveness: The Aftermath of massacre

PUCL-K and ALF book release

PUCL-K and ALF organised a book launch of Harsh Mander’s, ‘Fear and forgiveness: The Aftermath of massacre’ at 6pm, on 5th September 2009  at Institute of Agricultural Technologists, 15 Queens Road, Bangalore. To take forward the discussion on what Harsh’s work means for Karnataka the launch was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Fear and forgiveness: What lessons Gujarat has for Karnataka’.

  • It was chaired by Prof Hassan Mansur of PUCL-K.
  • Harsh Mander made some initial comments on ‘Fear and forgiveness’.
  • Clifton Rozario and Arvind Narrain spoke on “Lessons of Gujarat for Karnataka: Reflecting on ‘Fear and Forgiveness’”.
  • Pattabhirama Somayaji: Reflections on the communal situation in  Dakshina Kannada
  • Sanjana: Modes of communal mobilising in Karnataka

A Brief Biography

Harsh Mander joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1980. Initially he was assigned to work in Madhya Pradesh, and later to Chhattisgarh. In 1984,

Harsh was an additional collector of Indore where the collector was Ajit Jogi, later chief minister of Chattisgarh. The same year, Indore witnessed riots against the Sikh community and Harsh Mander took charge of Indore controlling the riot within hours of its outbreak which is why he was outraged when the state government did not respond to the cry of help by the people of Gujarat. It was his grief against the bureaucracy’s need to be partisan that he resigned in 2002. He has published a collection of essays titled Unheard Voices:  Stories of Forgotten Lives published by the Penguin Books (2001) and Fear and Forgiveness: The Aftermath of Massacre (2009)

News Reports on Violence in Sagar Shimoga [September 2003]

September 11, 2003 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communal Violence, Human Rights 

VHP, Bajrang Dal blamed
DH News Service SHIMOGA, Sept 15

The Karnataka Vimochana Ranga has condemned the “planned” acts of violence unleashed by the Bajrang Dal and the VHP in Sagar town for fulfilling their political aims.

In a statement issued here today, District Convenor Kashinath said that the violent incidents in Sagar were part of the Sangh Parivar’s belief that it can come to power by unleashing violence in the manner of the Gujarat pogrom.
Hundreds of Ganapathi idols have been peacefully immersed in the district. It’s only during processions and immersion of idols installed by the Sangh Parivar outfits that trouble and violence break out, the statement said. Residents of Shimoga should unite against these reactionary and violent forces and stop them from carrying out their pogroms, the statement urged.

Bus stand: Transport Minister Ramanath Rai will lead a team of officials to Shimoga to survey the site allotted for the construction of the new private bus stand. Civilians of Shimoga had met the chief minister under the leadership of Leader of the Opposition D H Shankaramurthy and urged him not to shift the present bus stand to the proposed Millaghatta tank area.


Kagodu chides Bangarappa over his fiery statements

‘‘I will not set fire to anything rather I will put down the fire started by others’’, district minister and Bangarappa’s arch rival Kagodu Thimmappa said here today.

Addressing a press conference in SHimoga city on Monday, Mr Thimmappa refused to react in kind to inflammatory statements made by Bangarappa in Sagar and Soraba on Sunday. No political leader of any stature should indulge in such inflammatory statements which have the power to incite communal passions.

There have not been any poll-related violence in Shimoga district so far. All political parties should take pride in this and should continue this good tradition, Mr Thimmappa urged.

He said that the Shimoga District Congress Committee will complain to the Election Commission about the inflammatory statements being made by Bangarappa.

He noted that Bangarappa by his speech in Sagar on Sunday had confirmed suspicions that he had instigated the communal disturbances in the town on Sept 11, 2003.

Referring to Kumar Bangarappa’s re-entry into the Congress, Mr Thimmappa said that he had not caused any rift in the family. Kumar had voluntarily decided to join the Congress and the decision was entirely his. No Congress leader had any role to play in this decision, he said.

Reacting to Deve Gowda’s statement that Congress is purchasing people, he said the party has no need for such tactics.

Dismissing statements that Sagar constituency had not seen any progress, Mr Thimmappa challenged Bangarappa to visit villages in Soraba taluk where he had started hospitals and health centres during the past four years. The projects for which Mr Bangarappa had only laid foundation stones fourteen years ago were completed now, during his tenure as district minister, he pointed out.

In view of Bangarappa’s defection, Block Congress units have been reorganized, Mr Thimmappa said and added that the Congress will emerge victorious in the district in the ensuing polls. Seeking to remove the confusions about SAS, he said that the government has already ordered a review of the construction value.

People should pay taxes as per the new system and any extra payment will be adjusted in the coming financial year, he said. The Congress party needed an able Brahmin candidate in Shimoga district. If K H Srinivas had joined the party bit early (Srinivas came into Cong fold last week), he could have been given the ticket, Thimmappa said here today.

Referring to Kimmane Rathnakar joining the Congress, he said that efforts in this regard were being made for a long time. He will surely get a ticket from the party to contest the assembly polls, he said.

K H Srinivas to Shimoga

Mr K H Srinivas who has joined the Congress will be in Shimoga on March 31 where he will meet party workers and address them. He will be given the campaign responsibility, Mr THimmappa said.

District congress president Mir Aziz Ahmed, general secretary N Ramesh, CADA president Prasannakumar, Sagar TMC president T N Srinivas, DCC secretary Shivananda were among those present on the occasion.


CoD begins clash probe in Sagar
The CoD has begun investigating into the September 11 communal clashes in Sagar town.

CoD inspector C K Shashidhar who is in Sagar now visited both the rural and town police stations and examined the cases filed, the number of people arrested and those chargesheeted.

He also visited the taluk office to verify the compensation awarded.

Mr Shashidhar is trying to get all the relevant information about the incident and told Deccan Herald that the investigation will be completed within fifteen days.

It may be recalled that former MLA L T Thimmappa Hegde, former MP K G Shivappa, politician Mohammad Qoya and others had visited Kagodu Thimmappa in Bangalore and demanded an enquiry into the incident.

Mr Thimmappa had forwarded the request to the home minister and a CoD enquiry was instituted on February 7 this year.

Communal clashes rock Karnataka town [September 2002]

September 28, 2002 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communal Violence, Human Rights 

[Source] [From September 2002]

New Delhi: South Indian city of KR Nagar witnessed a rise in communal temperature on September 13 evening following a clash between two youths taking on a communal colour.

The tension led to communal clashes in the Karnataka state town the following morning and police resorted to lobbing of teargas shells and lathi-charge to bring the situation under control, the police said.

Ten persons were injured in the melee and one person, identified as “Ravi” was taken to K R Hospital for treatment. Incidents of stone-throwing, arson and looting were also reported in several areas of the town.

An argument between two youths belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities respectively at the Manchanahalli bus-stand in the town is said to have led to communal clashes, said the police.

In a related incident in the same area, two groups resorted to stone-throwing in Harapanahalli area during the immersion of Ganesha idol, and police had to resort to caning and lobbing of teargas shells to bring the situation under control. A tense situation prevailed in the town and prohibitory orders were clamped in the area.

A total of 15 persons including five policemen were injured in the stone throwing. The clash is said to have occurred when a Hindu nationalist outfit Yuvashakti Sangha took out a Ganesha idol procession through Banageri and members of Hindu and Muslim communities had an argument over the volume of a loudspeaker.

South India did not know communal riots, that is Hindu-Muslim clashes, until about a decade ago when the North-based Hindu nationalist organisations like the RSS, BJP and VHP introduced this virus there. Now they have floated outfits like the Hindu Munnani which are on the lookout how to vitiate the communal harmony on one pretext or the other in order to convert the resulting communal polarisation into a vote-bank for the Hindu nationalist BJP and similar outfits.

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