Mumbai/Bangalore (TCN): BJP Karnataka leader and former Union Minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal was on Wednesday arrested by the Karnataka Police from a hotel in Kolhapur city of Maharashtra on charges of instigating violence against Muslim community in Bijapur at the time of Narendra Modi’s swearing-in as Prime Minister on May 26. He was described by the police as the prime perpetrator for the violence during a celebratory procession carried out by BJP workers.
Police says, they have definite proof, including video footage, that former minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal was responsible for Monday’s communal clash in the city.
Basanagouda Patil Yatnal: PTI file photo
On May 26, the day Narendra Modi was swearing in as 15th Prime Minister in New Delhi, BJP supporters had scheduled a ‘victory march’ led by former Karnataka Minister Basangouda Patil Yatnal in Bijapur. The marching BJP party workers were playing songs calling for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and were raising slogans of victory, and applying gulaal (coloured powder) on passers-by, and vendors in the market, when the coloured powder fell on some women belonging to the Muslim community living in a Muslim dominated Gandhi Chowk Market. The enraged members of the community then retaliated by throwing fruits at the BJP workers, before both started throwing stones at each other.
The circumstances turned into a riot like situation when the BJP party workers and supporters went on a rampage damaging parked vehicles, and push cart stalls, forcing everyone in and around Gandhi Chowk, Shivaji Chowk and Basaveshwar Road to shut down all shops and business establishments.
(Courtesy: HT)Karnataka police registered seven FIRs (under IPC sections 353, 336, 147, 295 and 295 A) against the trouble-makers out of which Basanagouda Patil Yatnal was shown as absconding in 3 FIRs.
Yatnal was allegedly absconding while the state police had arrested 29 people on Monday in connection with the above FIRs.
Yatnal was arrested on Wednesday from a lodge in Kolhapur city of Maharashtra along with three others — Yallappa Yalagond, Parashuram Kenganal and Umesh Kore.
“We have booked Yatnal under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of offense committed in prosecution of common object), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295 (injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty),” IGP (Northern Range) Bhaskar Rao said, adding, “Yatnal was the architect of violence during the victory rally.”
Yatnal was a minister for state in the AB Vajpayee led NDA government from 2002 to 2004. Later, he joined the JD(S) before returning to the BJP recently.
In a press release, Jamaat-e-Hind has said that anti social people responsible for the communal clash should not be spared. Innocent and poor people have become victims and they should be correctly compensated by the state government.