Saturday, April 20, 2024

Karnataka police refuse to file FIR over boycott of Muslim vendors, saying it is “non-cognizable offence”

Karnataka police have rejected a complaint filed against Chandru Moger, coordinator of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, who made calls for an economic boycott of Muslims, saying it is a “non-cognisable offence.”

In a tweet, Chandru Moger urged Hindus not to purchase fruits from Muslim vendors and buy only from Hindus and claimed that most fruit businesses are done by Muslims in the state.

“Fruit business is monopolised by Muslims. They are spitting on fruits and bread before selling them. These Muslims are doing spit Jihad. I request Hindus to help end the monopoly of Muslims in the fruit business,” the Hindutva activist said.

The Karnataka police found that HJS, along with its sister concern, Sanatan Sanstha was the fringe right-wing outfit that had clear links to the murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru in September 2017.

Amol Kale, former Pune convenor of the Sanstha-affiliated HJS was the prime accused in the murder plot of Lankesh and KT Naveen Kumar, a member of the Hindu Yuva Sena was the first suspect. Kumar had said then that the journalist was killed for having “anti-Hindu” views.

On Wednesday, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) spokesperson and Karnataka Bandhua Mukti Morcha President Sheikh Zia Nomani filed a complaint at Sanjay Nagar police station in Bengaluru, demanding action against the Hindutva outfit member for defaming and inciting communal hatred against Muslims.

Nomani told Maktoob: “After getting provoked by Moger’s speech, if anyone causes turmoil against Muslims, then who will be accountable. Will the police take responsibility for it?”

In a detailed Facebook post, the activist wrote that he, including a lawyer, two paralegals of High Court Khizer E Alam and Waseem Raja struggled to file an FIR against the hate speech giver. But Sanjaynagar police inspector Balraj allegedly tried to convince him that everyone has freedom of speech.

He also said that “the accused party may react and the situation can turn volatile.”

“We told Balraj sir that freedom of speech can’t be exploited. Then he said they’ll take legal opinion regarding the matter. We told him it’s a cognisable offence because here they’re talking economic boycott of Muslims, which is also part of genocide according to article 2 of UN,” the AIMIM spokesperson said.

An engineer by profession, Nomani with his team later met Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant in his office. Pant gave a sealed envelope and asked them to meet Vinayak Patil, deputy commissioner of police (North). The DCP had told them he would look into the complaint and take appropriate action. 

The police had said they will take legal advice for their complaint against the fringe Hindu outfit member.

Nomani said, “We don’t know what was written in the envelope as it was sealed. We just took it from Kamal Pant sir and gave it to DCP Patil.”

After a delay of almost four days, the police acknowledged the complaint saying that Chandru Moger’s call for an economic boycott of Muslims was non-cognisable offence, as per their legal opinion.

“NC (non-cognisance) report has been registered in the station. Offences are classified as cognisable and non-cognisable. Hence, this report is NC. I have nothing more to say,” DCP Patil told Maktoob.

Meanwhile, the activist alleged that Bengaluru police are working under tremendous political pressure.

Quoting Devnoor Mahadev’s words, Nomani said, “Either there is no government in Karnataka or the government is supporting them in such activities. I’m not saying that, Devnoor Ji has told this.”

Slamming the call for the boycott of “halal” meat on Sunday, Devnoor Mahadev, a writer and public intellectual, along with several other leaders and progressive organisations had gathered in front of meat stalls owned by Muslims in Mysuru and purchased mutton from them.

The Bandhua Mukti Morcha President said they will move to magistrate court and file a private complaint on Monday.

“We will knock on the doors of magistrate court and file a private complaint against Moger for defaming Muslims and inciting violence against them. Even after the police refused to file an FIR, we still have full faith in our judiciary and constitution.”

Since the past few days, there have been increasing hate speeches against Muslims in Karnataka by fringe Hindutva groups calling for an economic boycott of businesses owned by the minority community.

“The fringe elements by right-wing outfits have created an atmosphere of communal divide, mistrust within the state of Karnataka, quickly spreading to other parts of the country. This is a direct attack on the peace and harmony of our society, which requires necessary, quick and strict actions by the law enforcement authorities against the fringe elements, in order to maintain peace and harmony between the communities of our society,” Nomani said in a press release on Saturday.


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