BENGALURU: In what can be termed as an embarrassment for the governing BJP, around 40 activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of RSS, breached police security and tried to enter the official residence of Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra on Jayamahal Road here on Saturday morning.
They were demanding a ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates. The minister was in Shivamogga at the time of the incident and only his staff were at his residence.
Taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, jurisdictional police from JC Nagar station have filed a case against 30 ABVP activists, including a woman, under IPC sections 448 (house trespass), 143 (unlawful assembly) and 147 (rioting). More than 10 activists are in police custody.
Anger has been brewing in the BJP cadre against the state leadership over the killings of Yuva Morcha leader Praveen Nettaru and other Hindu activists.
Police resorted to mild baton charge when the protesters tried to barge into the minister’s house. However, by then the activists had broken several of the flower pots inside the compound. Eventually they were bundled out of the premises.
A police officer confirmed that no activist barged inside the house. “They went till the main door but were stopped,” he added. Sub inspector Raja Saab and head constable Srinivasmurthy of JC Nagar police station have been suspended for failing to gather information on the activists and their motives, and for not alerting senior police officials about the incident.
Jnanendra said, “I understand the emotions of ABVP activists. They want PFI and its affiliates banned for various reasons, including the DJ Halli-KG Halli riots and murder of activists like Praveen and Harsha. In my absence, they have expressed their feelings. I will hold talks with them.”
Bengaluru City police commissioner CH Pratap Reddy admitted that they lacked intelligence inputs about the attack. “I will look into the matter,” he responded while taking serious note of the incident and security breach.
Earlier in the day, a small group of activists had gathered outside the minister’s residence saying they wanted to submit a memorandum on the recent spate of murders of right-wing activists, besides observing a silent protest. However, a few of the activists started shout-ing slogans demanding an immediate ban on PFI, its student wing Campus Front of India (CFI) and its political wing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).