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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Uppinangady incident: leaders trade charges

Ivan D'Souza, secretary, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, told presspersons on Tuesday that organising the Hindu Samajotsava “was a clear attempt to start a communal riot” in Uppinangady.

He said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government “should not treat it lightly”. He claimed that the Congress leaders had met senior police officers and conveyed their apprehensions to the latter.

He said that District In-charge Minister had not visited the spot and reassured the people. “What (else) are elected representatives for? They should speak to those who have been pained by Sunday's events,” Mr. D'Souza said.

Leaders of the Muslim Central Committee, at another press conference, demanded that Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat should be prosecuted for using bad language during his speech and for making insulting remarks about Muslim women who wore burqa.

Committee president and former Chairperson of the State Minorities Commission K.S. Mohammed Masood demanded that Mr. Bhat be arrested for making “offensive remarks”.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader M.B. Puranik said that Hindu Samajotsavas had been organised for the last 25 to 30 years. The case against Mr. Bhat should be withdrawn or else “we (VHP) would put various kinds of pressure (to get it withdrawn),” Mr. Puranik said. He said that if anybody was “pained”, then there were methods to voice their objections, but “to take the law into their own hands” was not the way.

General Secretary of the Mangalore unit of the Hindu Hitarakshana Vedike and Mangalore University Syndicate member Harish Achar said the vedike “fully supported” the statements made by Mr. Bhat during the samajotsava, and that “no inflammatory statements” were made.

He said that the vedike had compiled a list of around 50 to 60 names of people who had allegedly participated in Sunday's events and submitted it to the Uppinangady police. In a separate statement, Hindu Janajagriti Samiti said Hindus were targeted on the day of samajotsava.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued a statement and demanded strict action against elements which sought to spread communal violence and take the law into their own hands.

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