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Friday, 13 January 2012

Pakistani flag hoisting was a Hindutva plot to foment strife, police say

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2790960.ece

Pakistani flag hoisting was a Hindutva plot to foment strife, police
say

PRADEEPKUMAR KADKOL

With the arrest of another Hindutva activist on Tuesday in connection with
the hoisting of a Pakistani flag in front of the Tahsildar office at
Sindagi in Karnataka on January 1, the number of persons held by the police
for what they believe was a plot to foment communal strife has increased to
seven.

The arrested are members of Sri Ram Sene, a pro-Hindutva outfit. According
to the police, they allegedly hoisted the Pakistani flag and then blamed it
on the town's Muslim community. The accused were shifted to the Bellary
district prison on Sunday morning as other inmates of the Bijapur district
jail allegedly attacked them for being involved in “anti-national
activities.”

Rakesh Math, the prime accused, was seriously injured in the fracas, and
the remaining sustained minor injuries.

Meanwhile, members of the district unit of Sri Ram Sene have said the
accused do not belong to their outfit but are members of the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

At a press conference here, they released several pictures to prove their
point, alleging that the police had been pressured not to drag the name of
the RSS into the issue.

Well-placed police sources, however, told The Hindu that the entire
incident was carried out at the behest of an elected representative of the
BJP, whose political agenda was to foment communal disturbances in the
district. The sources added that the elected representative had instructed
his supporters to destroy all evidence of his involvement, including
photographs of the protesters and the banners of the organisation.

The Pakistani flag was hoisted in the early hours of January 1. Later in
the morning, the accused, led by Rakesh Math, organised a protest in front
of the Tahsildar's office, alleging that the Muslim community was behind
the incident. The protesters blocked the road and hurled stones at buses
before the police enforced order.

The police then formed a special team to investigate the matter.

It concluded that the Sri Ram Sene activists who organised the protests
were behind the incident. They arrested the six ringleaders on January 3
under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for sedition and inciting
communal disturbance.

As a precautionary measure, the district administration has banned rallies,
protests and dharnas in connection with the issue.