Govt. to withdraw 13 cases against Muthalik?

2:59 PM, Friday, December 25th, 2015

pramod-muthalikMangaluru : The State government is mulling over withdrawing 13 cases of hate speech registered against Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik, including the one registered in 2009 following the infamous pub attack in Mangaluru in which sene activists assaulted youngsters.

Mr. Muthalik, known for making provocative speeches, was recently banned from entering Goa.

A senior government official told The Hindu that a letter was written on December 14 to the Director of Prosecution seeking opinion of prosecutors regarding withdrawal of cases that were pending before various courts in the State. The official, on condition of anonymity, said that of 13 cases two each pertain to those registered in Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts, respectively, in 2009. The other cases were registered in Dharwad, Mysuru, Vijayapura, and Madikeri. These cases were registered between 2002 and 2009, the official said.

Soon after receiving the opinion, it will be placed before the Cabinet, the official said.

Reacting to this development, Mr. Muthalik said he was “surprised” by the action of the Congress government, which has been condemning him in public platforms. “It is the same government that had been restricting my public speeches,” he said.

Mr. Muthalik said that most of the cases registered against him were regarding hate speeches. He said he has never made representation either to the earlier Bharatiya Janata Party or the present Congress government to withdraw these cases. “Once a case is filed, I prefer to fight in the courts and come out clean,” he said.

“We are surprised by this move. We did not expect the present government, which has been criticising actions of the Hindutva groups, to consider withdrawing these cases,” said Jagadish Shenava, district president of Vishwa Hindu Parishat.

Democratic Youth Federation of India State president Muneer Katipalla said he was shocked by the action of the State government. “This government lacks clarity in tackling communalism. The government is practising soft communism.”

A few weeks ago, the government withdrew cases against some Muslim fundamentalist forces and now it’s considering Mr. Muthalik’s cases.

Suresh Bhat Bakrabail, Dakshina Kannada district president of Komu Sauharda Vedike, said that the move of the government “sends a wrong message to secular minded people and those fighting for communal harmony in the coastal region.”

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