Will go to Mangaluru, let them arrest me: Siddaramaiah

“A Leader of the Opposition is the shadow chief minister. What’s my responsibility? Two people died in police firing and I wanted to console their families and also get details on the incident. I wasn’t going there to destroy peace,” he said. Photo/Twitter (@siddaramaiah)

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah came down heavily on the BJP government after he was served a notice Saturday barring him from entering Mangaluru till Sunday midnight. 

“This is the murder of democracy,” the former chief minister told reporters, flashing a copy of the notice issued by the Mangaluru Police Commissioner. 

Defiant, Siddaramaiah has decided to visit Mangaluru on December 23. “Let them arrest me if they like,” he said. 

Mangaluru witnessed violence earlier this week during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Two persons were killed in police firing.

“A Leader of the Opposition is the shadow chief minister. What’s my responsibility? Two people died in police firing and I wanted to console their families and also get details on the incident. I wasn’t going there to destroy peace,” he said. 

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, his deputy Govind Karjol and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai visited Mangaluru on Saturday.

“If they are allowed, why not the Leader of the Opposition?” Siddaramaiah asked. 

On Friday, Siddaramaiah was slated to fly into Mangaluru in a chartered flight, but he cancelled after he was denied permission to land. A delegation of Congress leaders was detained by the police at the Mangaluru airport. 

“The golibar that killed two people was without reason. A viral video shows cops discussing why none was killed despite bullets fired. This means the government was behind the killing of those innocents,” Siddaramaiah said. “They hadn’t indulged in any violence. No court has said that a protest can’t be staged if Section 144 is in place. The police could have advised them or arrested them. There was no necessity to and there was no situation that warranted the police to open fire. To cover up these mistakes, they’re stopping me from going to Mangaluru,” he charged. 

The Opposition, Siddaramaiah said, is the voice of the oppressed and is duty-bound to point out the government’s mistakes. “That is a democracy. But what’s happening now has never happened before. In Kashmir, former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been under detention for over 100 days. This happens only in a Fascist regime. I hope people are seeing this.”

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