Rights Groups Raise Alarm at Rising Hate Crimes in Karnataka District

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Hindutva rally

They report ‘massive escalation’ in communal incidents in the past one year in Dakshina Kannada

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Four human rights groups have expressed concern about the rise in communal violence in the Dakshina Kannada area of Karnataka as they have put out a joint report recording incidents of hate crimes and communal policing that the area witnessed between January 2021- September 2021.

The report titled ‘From Communal Policing to Hate Crimes: The Attacks on Ambedkar’s Dream of Fraternity’ released few days back is a collective work of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Karnataka (PUCL-K), All India Lawyers Association for Justice (AILAJ), All India People’s Forum (AIPF) and Gaurilankeshnews.com.

The authors of the fact-finding report said it was needed as there has been a “massive escalation” in communal incidents in the past one year in Dakshina Kannada.
Expressing concern over the issue of “communal policing” the report accused Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai of “practically justifying” such acts.

It is such communal policing that has often led to hate crimes, especially against the minority communities, women, and Dalits, says the report.

The scourge of communal violence in the region is not a new phenomenon though it has seen a spike under the BJP rule in state and at the Centre. PUCL-K had released a similar report in 2008-09 titled ‘Cultural Policing in Dakshina Kannada: Vigilante Attacks on Women and Minorities, 2008-9’ and another report in 2012 ‘Attacking Pubs and Birthday Parties: Communal Policing by Hindutva Outfits’ which recorded incidents of communal policing in Karnataka.

According to the report, a communal hate crime can be an act “motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, caste, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity is a hate crime. The report has identified six patterns: (a) enforcing social segregation, (b) dictating intimacies, (c) economic and social boycott, (d) attacks in the name of cattle, (e) curbing religious freedom and (f) spewing hate speech.”

The report accuses Karnataka police and administration of inaction in several cases of attacks on people involved in interfaith relationships and instead harassment of such couples by police.

“No action is taken against these perpetrators of violence, the police go one step forward and treat the victims as wrong-doers by taking them to the police station and questioning them.” The report accuses police of helping in “enforced segregation”.

Such acts are “against the Constitutional principle of fraternity, where persons from different religions are effectively prohibited from inter-mingling in any manner whatsoever.”
The mob violence against minorities, the report says, is intended to subordinate them. Minorities face economic, social and cultural attack, it says.

“This process of segregation, discrimination and subordination results in a situation where social norms dictate the activities of persons, despite the fact that it stands in stark violation of the Constitution,” finds the report.

The fact-finding report suggests that civil administration and police should ensure strict adherence to the orders of the Supreme Court on hate crimes and mob violence. It adds that the police and administration should ensure law and order is maintained all the time.
It demands action from the Karnataka government against Hindutva groups who it says cannot be allowed to run a parallel administration.

The report appeals to the government to issue directions to the Police and the District Administration to ensure that in all cases of hate crimes and communal policing, an FIR is immediately registered, and where necessary a suo-moto complaint is registered.

It seeks effective action “to dispel the climate of fear that has gripped Dakshina Kannada and is preventing its citizens from exercising their fundamental rights”.

The groups also called for an education campaign to make people understand that it is illegal to take law into their own hands and resort to communal policing.

theclarionindia
theclarionindiahttps://clarionindia.net
Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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