With days to go for the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Karnataka police department has reportedly begun investigating cases against Ram Mandir activists.
These individuals are alleged to have participated in property destruction and other incidents thirty years ago at the peak of the Ram Mandir movement.
The police department had formed a special team and prepared a list of accused persons who are involved in police cases during 1992 Ram Mandir movement which resulted in violence and communal clashes, news agency IANS reported citing sources.
Srikanth Poojari, accused of setting fire to a minority-owned shop in Hubballi on December 5, 1992, has been apprehended by the Hubballi police.
Poojari is the third person to be arrested in this case, with the police continuing their search for the remaining eight suspects.
Following his arrest, Poojari was remanded in judicial custody.
Similarly, the Hubballi police have compiled a list of 300 individuals who are purportedly sought for their involvement in communal clashed that occurred from 1992 to 1996.
These suspects are presently in their early to late 70s, and many have since left the city, IANS reported citing police sources.
Many of the accused are now in important positions and police are also considering the consequence of legal action against them. The Congress government has allegedly directed the police department take up the cases for investigation in this regard.
The Congress government has allegedly directed the police department take up the cases for investigation in this regard.
Several individuals involved in the Ram Janma Bhoomi movement have since become notable leaders within the BJP.
During the BJP's tenure in power, charges against these key figures were reportedly dropped.
Hindu groups have voiced their anger towards the actions of the Congress government.
They claim that, in response to the BJP and Hindu groups conducting door-to-door campaigns following the opening of the Sri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Congress government, unable to tolerate the campaigning, is resorting to initiating action on cases that were reported thirty years ago.
The development is likely to stir a major controversy in the state.
Karnataka witnessed major violence during the Ram Janmabhoomi Rath Yatra movement launched by veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani in 1990's.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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