CAA protests: Karnataka mulls following UP in making rioters pay for damage
The Karnataka government is planning to take a leaf out of Uttar Pradesh’s book by recovering the cost of damage to public property from alleged rioters during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests.State Revenue Minister R Ashoka has said that the government would soon decide to enact legislation to seize the properties of those involved in damaging public property. “Everyone should abide by the law of the land. The way in which Uttar Pradesh government has decided to confiscate the properties of those involved in violence if such violence happens again here, we will also bring a similar rule in Karnataka also,” Ashoka told reporters on Thursday.On Tuesday, the Rampur district administration in UP became the first in the state to initiate the process for recovery of damage to government property, including police motorcycles, barrier and dandas. In identical notices issued Tuesday to 28 people, including an embroidery worker and a hawker of spices who are already in custody, the administration, while holding them responsible for acts of violence and damage to government property, has sought an explanation on why recoveries should not be made for damage worth Rs 14.86 lakh.
Kannada and Culture Minister CT Ravi and state BJP Leader and MP Shobha Karandlaje too backed the UP government’s move. On Thursday, CT Ravi said that the rioters must be fined for damaging the public properties. “The rioters should also be booked under the Goonda Act, a special law enacted with the intention of curbing the menace of ‘Organized Crime,” he added.
“People can protest, but if they cause damage to public property, the government should make sure that they pay for it,” said Shobha.
Last week, the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests turned violent in Mangaluru, where two people were killed in the police fire. Police have shared CCTV footage of the protest, which shows masked men destroying CCTVs, blocking roads and police vans and pelting stones in various parts of the city.
The two victims, identified as Abdul Jaleel (49) and Naushin Kudroli (23), were killed in police firing on December 19. Both of them are among 29 people against whom an FIR has been registered by Mangalore North police based on a complaint filed by the city’s Deputy Police Commissioner (law and order) Arunangshu Giri.
According to the FIR filed in the Mangalore North police station, a group of 1,500-2,000 people violated prohibitory orders and gathered near the police station, threw stones and did not disperse despite instructions. Police resorted to firing after the crowd did not disperse even after shots were fired in the air, resulting in the death of two people and injuries to five, the FIR said. The state government has announced a CID and a magisterial probe into the violence.