71 cases of communal discord recorded in 8 months

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A joint report by several rights groups has identified numerous instances of violence by Hindutva groups against minorities in the Indian state of Karnataka and the police’s reluctance to apprehend the offenders.

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Karnataka (PUCL-K), All India Lawyers Association for Justice (AILAJ), All India People’s Forum (AIPF) and Gaurilankeshnews.com released a report titled ‘From communal policing to hate crimes: the attack on Ambedkar’s dream of fraternity’ at a press conference in Bangalore, in which they have identified at least 71 instances of communal discord, all attracting criminal charges, in the eight-month period starting January this year.

The release of the report was organised amid heavy presence of police. Police teams were deputed at the venue. Senior social activist Vidya Dinkar, in the press briefing mentioned that finding a venue for the event was not easy.

The report pointed out that on January 03 this year, in the coastal town of Mangalore, an aggressive campaign against Muslim men selling fruits and vegetables took off on social media. The messages, circulated on various social media platforms, warned Hindus against buying anything from roadside stalls operated by Beary (a local word for Muslims) as the products were “deliberately laced with poison to kill Hindus”.

A few days later in the same district, a few men – all belonging to the rightwing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – barged into a birthday party being held at a café in Mangaluru’s Puttur area, claiming that boys and girls of different religious communities were partying together. The police intervened, but only to take the students to the police station.—INP

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