Bengaluru: With police on Saturday restricting his entry into curfew-clamped Mangaluru, which witnessed violence during the anti-CAA protests, former chief minister Siddaramaiah hit out at the government terming the action as "murder of democracy " and "undeclared emergency ". The Congress leader had to cancel his trip to Mangaluru from Bengaluru on Friday also on getting information that the chartered aircraft he was to take was denied permission to land at the airport. Alleging that his rights and freedom as Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly has been infringed upon, he declared he will be travelling to Mangaluru on Monday and authorities can arrest him. "I had to go to Mangaluru yesterday at 2 pm, but Mangaluru airport was told not to allow my chartered flight to land, we were denied permission, this is murder of democracy, " Siddaramaiah told reporters here. Stating he was not going to Mangaluru to disturb peace, he said the plan is to to meet those injured and families of the two deceased during the violence, and to get details about the incident.
"Leader of opposition means shadow chief minister, what is my responsibility then?...when CM, deputy chief minister and home minister are allowed, why not leader of opposition? " he questioned. CM BS Yediyurappa, deputy CM Govind Karjol and home minister Basavaraj Bommai reviewed the situation in Mangaluru on Saturday and talked to families of those affected.
Citing violence in Mangaluru and curfew in place there till December 22 midnight as the reason, Mangaluru police commissioner has issued a notice to Siddaramaiah restricting his entry into the city till then, as it may disturb peace and order. The notice also bars Siddaramaiah from flying into the city from Bengaluru, Hubballi, Mysuru, and Goa airports and also entry through road, rail, and air. The notice also mentions that no one can facilitate his travel into the city. On Friday, a delegation of senior Congress leaders who landed in Mangaluru to meet those injured and families of the two deceased too were denied permission and detained at the airport. Alleging that to hide government and police failures he was not being allowed to go to Mangaluru, Siddaramaiah questioned the police commissioner's notice restricting him, and expressed doubts whether there was democracy in the state and the country.
"Why should there be an opposition? we are here to work as the voice of those in pain and voiceless, to highlight injustice, to point out government its mistakes...never such things had happened, " he said. Asking when the situation (at Mangaluru) is favourable to the CM and other ministers, why was it not for him, Siddaramaiah said he need not learn about law and order from the BJP and they should be ashamed. "When my rights and freedom is being infringed upon, will they allow freedom of people? this is murder of democracy, it is like undeclared emergency....I will go there on December 23, let them arrest me if they want, " he added. Two people were killed in police firing on Thursday as the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act had turned violent.
Siddaramaiah alleged that the Chief Minister and Home minister Basavaraj Bommai were directly responsible for the incident. Despite prohibitory orders demonstrations had turned violent in Mangaluru on Thursday. Police had initially clamped curfew in parts of the city until Friday night, and later extended it to the entire Mangaluru commissionerate limits till December 22 midnight.
Alleging that PM Modi and HM Shah were directly responsible for the violence across the country, Siddaramaiah said even during the Emergency such things that are happening now had not happened. "BJP was not part of the freedom struggle and never sacrificed for the sake of the nation. Ever since the birth of the RSS, inciting violence has been their only duty, " he said.