PUCL Karnataka Towards civil liberties and human rights for all in Karnataka

|Report| Communal Violence In Davanagere

26 October 1990

Press Release

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[Download Full Text of the CDF Report on Davanagere Riots]

In response to the unprecedented or communal violence in Karnataka, Justice Shri V.M. Tarkunde, former President of Citizen’s For Democracy (CFD) and its General Secretary, N.D. Pancholi asked a team of CFD activists in Karnataka to investigate into these events in Karnataka and submit a report. The team includes Shri Hasan Mansur (Vice President CFD, K.) Shri S.R. Hiremath (Organizing Secretary, South India, CFD), Jyothi Veeranna, Sushri Shuju Fouzdar and Shri Azamatullah Chigteri (all members of CFD, K) who visited Davanagere twice on October 18th and 23rd and with help of several active local volunteers collected information from a broad cross-section of the community which included extensive interviews with the injured in the hospital, those who lost livelihood due to burning or looting of their properties and families of those who died in police firing or communal violence, leaders of both the communities and many persons from the affected areas who migrated to the nearby areas or town out of fear. The team also met with the Govt. authorities especially the police and collected their version of the events and statistics.

Based on all these facts and interviews, the team has prepared a preliminary report which includes the background of the events, the chronological events beginning with the peace committee meetings, the days of intense violence from 5th night to the 8th, the indiscriminate, harassment and arrest by the police and the shanti padayatra and presents and the end the reasons for the unprecedented violence, draws some conclusions and also suggests as to what next steps can be taken.

The reports presents a graphic picture of the sufferings of the innocent people especially those who received serious bullet injuries due to three firings by the police and the incidents of stabbing, acid throwing, etc. by the communal and anti-social elements. The visit to the injured in the hospital and discussions of the team with them reveals that it is the poorer sections who have borne the brunt of the unprecedented communal violence that rocked Davanagere, and other peaceful large size city in the central part of Karnataka.

The report calls for the appointment of a Commission of Enquiry by a sitting judge of the High Court, adequate compensation to the kith and kin of those who received injuries or die or whose properties have been damaged during the communal violence, systematic and serious efforts to bring to book the culprits and the conspirators who caused the loss of life or injuries ort looted or burnt properties, and calls on the local communities to learn lessons from these incidents and make serious efforts to develop joint leadership of both Hindus and Muslims for maintaining communal harmony and especially involve the youth in this process. The report also calls for serious efforts to keep the public processions and celebrations of religious events even in a more sober and spiritual way rather than vulgar display of money power. It also emphasizes on the need for the police and community leaders closer together for sustained efforts for maintaining communal harmony and developing better understanding among the communities especially the younger generation.

S.R. Hiremath
Secretary, South India Citizens for Democracy

Hasan Mansur
Vice-President, CFD – K

Ranjan Rao Yerdoor
Treasurer, CFD-K

[Download Full Text of the CDF Report on Davanagere Riots]

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