Amid the polarised environment in Karnataka, State Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai was, in a leaked video, recently heard assuring Hindutva activists that cases filed against them would be dropped.
Sharan Pumpwell, Bajrang Dal convenor and Vishwa Hindu Parishad member in Mangaluru, had uploaded the seven-second video on his Twitter account, but deleted it hours later. In the video, Home Minister Bommai was heard telling the Hindutva activists, “We will remove (whatever) cases filed against you.”
This comes days after a violence erupted in Bengaluru’s DJ Halli area over an inflammatory social media post allegedly put out by the relative of a Congress MLA.
Bommai’s statement appears to be undermining legal processes, and raises questions on the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government’s alleged softness towards right-wing goons.
On August 11, Bommai toured Udupi to asses the flood situation and was to visit Mangaluru the next day. But soon after violence broke out in Bengaluru, he returned to the city. His assurance came when VHP members met him at the airport before leaving Udupi.
The home minister could not be reached for comments.
Speaking to The Week, VHP leader Pumpwell, acknowledging the video post, said there was nothing wrong in what the home minister said.
“The state is treating Sangh Parivar activists as criminals by slapping CrPC 110 (dealing with habitual offenders) and abettors of crime (section 107—wilful misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact),” Pumpwell said.
Pumpwell is accused in multiple cases for inflammatory speeches, moral policing, and attack on those transporting cows.