NGOs demand Karnataka Police to curb ‘politically motivated’ vigilantism


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IANS

Mangaluru, 06 Apr 2021: Condemning growing incidents of moral policing, two prominent NGOs -- Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development and the Karwane-e-Mohabbat Team -- have submitted a memorandum to the Mangaluru city Police Commissioner to take strict action against politically and communally motivated vigilantism in the district.

 

Vidya Dinker and Shabeer Ahamed submitted the memorandum on Monday.

 

This memorandum was submitted in the wake of a 23-year-old Muslim man, who was travelling with a woman from another religion on a bus, was allegedly stabbed by members of the Bajrang Dal on April 1. This is the fourth such case of moral policing since March 2021.

 

According to the memorandum, vigilantism in the name of preventing ’Love Jihad’ and cattle trafficking, innocent citizens were being targeted by the enforcer-goons belonging to politically motivated strong-arm outfits.

 

"What we see is a worrying daily replay of provocative statements, public shaming, incessant harassment, brutal violence, and infringement of legitimate rights of citizens. Such incidents are reported in the media, shared on social media, lead to tense situations and bring back the climate of fear that had our region in its grip in the not so distant past," the memorandum said.

 

It also added that both the state government and the police department have acknowledged the fact that the district was communally sensitive and that it had been reeling under the negative impact of communalism for decades.

 

“There is a long history of brutal vigilantism and (im)moral policing in this region, particularly targeted at the minority communities and those who don’t conform to the purported code of conduct imagined by anti-social outfits," the memorandum said.

 

"We now earnestly urge all the institutions of governance like the District Administration and the Police Department to take serious note of this current resurgence and come up with an immediate and effective response to curb the anti-social forces, establish rule of law and restore the civil rights of the people," the memorandum appealed.

 

The memorandum further added that any delay and negligence on the part of the administration will only result in matters getting out of hand yet again.

 

"We hope you realize the gravity of the situation and immediately take positive steps to implement the Court’s detailed directions in a sincere manner. We also seek that immediate steps be taken for identification of the groups orchestrating this lawlessness and those involved in perpetrating these incidents of (im)moral and/or communal policing, vigilantism, violence and communal hate crimes, including hate speech," the memorandum concluded.

 

 

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