Will Sedition Law Apply to HDK’s Call to Police to Rebel?
Shivamogga: Newspapers and TV channels have widely quoted a statement made here on Sunday by JD(S) state president and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy in connection with the suicide of two DySPs during the past fortnight.
It was not a casual or spontaneous expression but appeared to be a well-thought-out one. However, should adverse response crop up, he, just as any politician would do, is likely to brush it off saying that the statement had been misinterpreted or that he had been quoted out of context.
TV footages clearly showed him give a direct call to the police officers in the state to revolt against the present government instead of sitting idle. Otherwise the same fate faced by DySPs Kallappa Handibag and Ganapathi awaited them, he said.
Speaking to mediapersons, HDK said that the state government had totally failed to give protection to the police personnel in the state. He added that there was no use in remaining quiet and the officers should rebel against such a shameless government.
He further said that it was past a week since the suicide of DySP Kallappa Handibag but there was no outcome. The CID officers had only been moving around ‘suited-and-booted’, showing no progress in the inquiry. If the government was not competent to bring out the truth, let it say so and he would himself provide the information.
The statement has created a stir in the JD(S) and media circles here. A top functionary of the district unit of the party wondered if HDK, as a person as responsible as a former chief minister, was wise in making such an indiscreet, if not irresponsible and insensible, statement.
Besides, if he had any specific information about the suicide cases which the inquiry agencies did not have, he was duty-bound as a responsible citizen to give it to the government without any delay.
Not long ago, Shashidhar Venugopal, the self-styled president of the state police families’ welfare federation, which had no official recognition, was arrested for giving a call for a ‘sepoy mutiny’-style strike by the police force. He has been booked with sedition charges. Will it apply to Kumaraswamy by the same standards or will he get away with it?
The aforementioned JD(S) leader from here, on condition of anonymity, said that Kumaraswamy had been in a state of despair after being out of power for long. Besides, some of his closest aides and party stalwarts like Zameer Ahmed, Cheluvarayaswamy and Balakrishna have defied his orders recently and are looking elsewhere for political base.
Added to this, the party’s national supremo and his father, H D Deve Gowda, have not been seeing eye-to-eye in many matters in the recent past. With all this put together, he has been under stress, the local functionary said. In any case, he has not done any national service by giving such a call, feel many observers.
Nevertheless, the state government is likely to view the matter seriously and take suitable steps, after studying the reports and video clippings. And for HDK, it could be another issue to complain about revenge politics and witch-hunt, said a Congress leader.