Govt likely to ban Sri Ram Sene

Karnataka will consider banning the Hindu fringe group Sri Ram Sene, in the State, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said here on Friday, mentioning that Goa has already done so. 

“The government will not allow moral policing. Police have been instructed to crack down on moral policing and book the repeat offenders under the Goonda Act,” he added. He was in the City on Friday to inaugurate the police commissionerate. 

The chief minister said that the government would soon decide its next course of action on the medium of instruction in primary schools as the Supreme Court has dismissed its review petition on the matter. The next step will be decided once the order copy is available, he said. Karnataka had approached the Supreme Court for a review of its order on medium of instruction. A Constitution bench dismissed the petition. 

About the floods in Kashmir, Siddaramaiah said 100 of the 640 tourists from Karnataka had returned home. A team of officials led by IAS officer Ramandeep Choudhary has been co-ordinating rescue efforts and provide relief to stranded tourists from the State. The team has been given the authority to take decisions on financial matters as well, he explained. 

The chief minister refuted the Opposition’s allegations that the government did not provide timely help to people in flood-affected parts of Karnataka. “I myself visited the flood-affected areas. District in-charge ministers and secretaries supervised the relief operations. Funds have been released to help those affected,” he added. 

Karnataka has sent a memorandum to the Union government seeking Rs 426 crore in aid. A Central team is expected to visit Karnataka to assess the losses, and if needed, a delegation from the State would go to Delhi, Siddaramaiah said. 

Cabinet expansion

He said that the date for Cabinet expansion has not been fianlised. There are four vacancies but too many aspirants, including senior legislators. The high command has to take a decision, including whether Belgaum district should get another minister. 

On the allegation by Kannada organisations that the government had ignored the problems of Kannadigas living in border areas, he said that the question did not arise. He stated that the border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra had been settled and Belgaum was an integral part of the State. 

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