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B Ramanath Rai has justified the denial of police permission

 B Ramanath Rai Mangaluru : Dakshina Kannada in-charge minister B Ramanath Rai has justified the denial of police permission for the Mangaluru Chalo Rally, saying the event could have “stoked large-scale” violence.

He said that since the bike rally was to attract participants from several districts, it had the “potential to stoke violence”. He added that some politicians had been taken into preventive custody.

Rai further said: “In the last 15 years, many innocent people from the minority as well as Hindu communities have been murdered.”

To a question on Samarasyadaa Nadige from Farangipete, he said: “The march is not being organised under the banner of any political party. As the district in-charge minister, I have taken up the responsibility to hold the march to restore peace in the communally sensitive Bantwal taluk. Except for the organisations involved in the murders, all peace-loving citizens, thinkers and intellectuals can take part in the march.”

Minister for Food and Civil Supplies U T Khader said: “We all have the responsibility of maintaining communal harmony. It is left to the discretion of the police to allow or deny permission for the rally. No one should be given permission to sow the seeds of hate among people. Police will be held responsible if any untoward incident occurs during the rally. It is common to point finger at the government when untoward incidents take place. Giving priority to harmony is need of the hour.”

He demanded a nationwide ban on the Bajrang Dal, the KFD and all other organisations “involved in communal activities and murders”.