Lathicharge: CPM demands probe

The State unit of Communist Party of India (Marxist) demanded judicial probe into the incident of police resorting to lathicharge on the activists who made an attempt to enter Sri Krishna temple in the agitation held against the practice of “Made Snana” and “Pankthi Bedha” rituals on Thursday.

They stressed for stern action against the police officials including the suspension of Udupi Town Police station CPI Maruthi Nayak.

Speaking to media persons here on Friday, CPI(M) State Secretary Srirama Reddy alleged that Thursday’s inhuman incident in which police brutally thrashed CPI(M) activists is a conspiracy jointly designed by BJP government, Sri Krishna mutt and district police.

The CPI(M) strongly condemns the act of police and demands immediate suspension of the Circle Inspector Maruthi Nayak who led the lathicharge, he said and added that police had no legal rights to stop the activists despite their repeated appeals to hold talks with the seers concerned over the issue.

Terming the incident as tragic which exemplified the worst violent behavior from police, Reddy said the police joined hands with the seers and mutt authorities. He questioned why the district administration was mum over the issue despite the fact that the party had already revealed their plans of picketing the temple to protest against the practice of the rituals.

“Why did not the district administration and district police made arrangements for negotiation,” he questioned and alleged that all these issues focus over the conspiracy played by both the departments.

Stating that the police who continued to behave ruthless even after arresting as many as 182 CPI(M) activists from across 13 districts of the State, of which 40 were women, Reddy said they charged IPC Section 353 which warrants for non bailable arrest. Police detained all 182 members till midnight only to produce all of them before District Magistrate after one pm.

“However, the District Magistrate was fair enough to treat us with humanity and granted interim bail to all of us till December 31. We should get the regular bail once the period of interim bail ends,” he added.

Lamenting that the police not even spared women, Reddy said as many as nine people suffered serious injuries. The CPI(M) has launched a statewide protest to condemn the incident and the members will not rest until government suspends the police official and order for judicial inquiry.

Retorting to a query, Reddy said: “We had no intention to take up any sort of violent attack or harm the temple structure. We just wanted convince the seers that the practice of these rituals is against human dignity.”

Ridiculing Muzrai Minister for failing to take steps to stop temple authorities from performing the rituals, he sarcastically lauded police department for giving an opportunity to raise the issue in a big forum. “We will not rest until we defy the temple authorities and the practice of evil rituals,” he said.

CPI(M) State Committee Member B N Nagraj demanded that the Sri Krishna mutt should be brought under Muzrai department, so that the temple will be out of control of Asta mutt seers. Sri Krishna temple should remain as devotees’ temple and not as seers’ temple. Appealing Pejawar mutt seer to follow the footsteps of Madhwa philosophy, he stressed for immediate response from seers and temple authorities over the public notice issued by the party over practicing the rituals.

Later, the Udupi district CPI(M) members took out a protest rally against the lathicharge incident and demanded immediate measures against the police personnel.

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