Responding to criticisms from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders over the law and order situation in the State in view of the attack on Lokayukta Justice Vishwanath Shetty on Wednesday, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that his Congress government was far better than the previous BJP government and other BJP governments in other States.
“It [the attack on Justice Shetty] was an unfortunate and unexpected. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire law and order has broken down. Such incidents sometimes happen. As far as law and order is concerned I can say that my Congress government has performed far better than previous BJP government. As per NCRB [National Crime Records Bureau] that functions under the Union Home Ministry, Karnataka stands at 11th position with 5% crime rate, far better than BJP-ruled States such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh,” he said.
Addressing mediapersons at Aiwan-e-Shahi guest house here on Thursday, Mr. Reddy gave a detail data on crimes reported during the previous BJP regime and current Congress period to make a comparison. According to him, 8,600 murders, 1,04,000 assaults, and 8,000 dacoities were reported during the BJP rule between 2008 and 2013 as compared to 7,500 murders, 91,000 assaults and 4,000 dacoities in the current Congress rule between 2013 and 2018.
“With this data, you can conclude as to who is better in law and order maintenance. BJP leaders are going across the State and making a hue and cry alleging that the law and order has broken down under Congress rule. They must understand that Congress rule is better than BJP’s on this issue.
Communal clashes in coastal belt
Pointing at the communal killings in the coastal belt, Mr. Reddy said that not only were Hindus were killed by Muslims, but Muslims too were killed by Hindus.
“BJP alleges that 23 Hindus were killed by Muslims, which is not true. 10 Hindu youths were killed by Muslims. A few of the rest were killed by people belonging to the Hindu community itself. Some were cases of suicide. At the same time, Hindu youths associated with various Sangh Parivar outfits have killed 11 Muslim youths and 10 Hindu youths. We have taken all the cases seriously and initiated stringent action,” he said and added that no Congress party activist was involved in any of these killings.
Referring to aggressive statements made by BJP leaders such as Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde and Shobha Karandlaje, the Minister said that people need not take their statements seriously and give much importance. “It is only after their provocative and irresponsible statements that the violence in society had increased.”
When asked, Mr. Reddy said: “A police team led by Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Bengaluru City, N. Satheesh Kumar, is probing the incident of attack on Lokayukta Justice Vishwanath Shetty. I am expecting the report by today evening. Justice Shetty had, a few days ago, advised the young man who stabbed him yesterday not to squabble in the Lokayukta office. It is unfortunate that such a good man has been stabbed.”