Bengaluru: The Karnataka police in Udupi district have courted controversy by dressing up in saffron – the colour of the ruling BJP in the state. The entire staff of the Kapu Police Station and Vijayapura Rural district went saffron on Dasara day and posted the photos on social media.
As the photos went viral, Opposition Siddaramaiah slammed Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and the ruling BJP government accusing the government of establishing “jungle raj” in the state, and also demanded Bommai’s resignation.
In a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah said: “Why have you changed only the attire of police @CMofKarnataka? Give them Trishools and an initiation into violence also. Then your dream of establishing a jungle raj might come true.”
In another tweet, he said: “On one hand, innocent young men and women are attacked in the name of moral policing in the state. On the other hand, BJP legislators barged inside a police station to get the accused in a moral policing case released. Furthermore, Hindu outfits are distributing trishuls and openly giving calls for violence. All of these are openly supported by @CMofKarnataka. Is there a government in the state?"
"Since Chief Minister Bommai justified hooliganism as 'action and reaction', it seems the police department while heeding to this call from Bommai have all set to enforce jungle raj in the state, burying the laws of the land. The people of the state should lock themselves up in their homes and it is not safe for them to venture out,” Siddaramaiah added.
In his final tweet, he said “this is not Yogi Adityanath’s jungle raj of Uttar Pradesh.”
Soon after, BJP MLA from Udupi, Raghupathi Bhat tweeted, "On the day of the festival colleagues have put on traditional clothes. What is wrong with the police wearing saffron clothes? You don't like saffron. You put on a skull cap and hold a sword on Tipu Jayanthi. You put on their cap when you visit a mosque. Only that is harmony. That is secular. You, being in a responsible position should see everyone equally.”
Meanwhile, the VHP and Bajrang Dal distributed tridents and knives to its activists on the occasion of Vijayadashami in Dakshina Kannada. Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashikumar said the police department would look into the case. However, the two outfits reportedly clarified that tridents were distributed every year during the festival and the weapons are not sharp-edged but blunt and distributed to activists as a part of tradition.
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