Govt victimising Yatnal, says BJP

The BJP has alleged that the party’s senior leader Basanagouda Patil Yatnal had been victimised by the State government and cases of attempt to murder were filed against him for a violence that erupted in Bijapur when the party was celebrating its poll victory.

BJP State president Pralhad Joshi, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar, MPs Suresh Angadi, Prabhakar Kore and others visited the KLES Prabhakar Kore Hospital on Thursday, where Yatnal is admitted for treatment after he complained of giddiness and chest pain on being arrested on Wednesday.

Joshi and Shettar told reporters that Bijapur police, on the insistence of a Congress legislator, filed cases against BJP workers and office bearers of Hindu organisations participating in the celebrations.

Miscreants who attacked with swords, machetes and rods were booked under offences that were bailable, while cases under non-bailable sections like IPC 307 were filed against Patil-Yatnal, workers of BJP and Hindu organisations.

They demanded that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Home Minister K J George and senior police officials clarify as to why IPC Section 307 was applied against BJP leaders and office bearers of Hindu organisations and those who attacked with weapons were booked under bailable provisions.

Police officials were not accepting complaints from Hindus whose shops were looted at Gandhi Circle, including that of Yatnal’s brother. Deputy Superintendent of Police S M Jeeragal filed cases against those named by the Congress MLA, they said. They sought an inquiry into the episode.

Joshi and Shettar said if the government does not conduct a fair probe into the incident and the conspiracy behind the BJP leader being booked, the party would explore other modes of protests.

Cong MLA booked

A case has been registered against Congress legislator Dr Maqbool S Bagwan in connection with the group clash. 

A complaint was filed with the Gandhi Chowk police on Thursday against Bagwan by Vijayakumar, brother of Basanagouda Yatnal, the BJP MLA who was detained in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, on Wednesday. Vijayakumar in his complaint said that Bagwan and others damaged his jeep, window panes and doors of his house, besides posing threat to life. The BJP district unit has called for a bandh on June 2, against the arrest of Yatnal.

Judicial probe sought

The State BJP has demanded a judicial probe into the group clash. BJP State General Secretary C T Ravi told mediapersons in Bangalore on Thursday that the government was giving a “communal colour” to the incident by targeting only BJP and Sangh functionaries.

“Only an impartial probe by a retired or sitting High Court judge will reveal the truth,” Ravi said. Water Resources Minister M B Patil, who is also the district in charge minister of Bijapur, said it was only a minor incident. However, he blamed the BJP workers for indulging in violence. 

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