Bengaluru: The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Wednesday filed a complaint with the state human rights commission against Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, for the latter’s controversial statements allegedly directing the police to ‘mercilessly shoot down’ the murderers of a Janata Dal (Secular) worker in Mandya district, about 90 kilometres from Bengaluru.
According to the complaint by the civil liberties group, such emotional oral order is ‘uncalled for and a clear violation’. Directions of this nature would put pressure on the police to go beyond the law. “It is a scary development. Such act is illegal, will dilute the spirit of the Constitution,” the complaint read.
Complaint lodged against Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy for controversial statement
The chief minister was caught by cameras on Monday directing officials to shoot down murderers, soon after he was apprised of the killing of a JD(S) worker, Prakash, in Maddur.
Kumaraswamy’s comments also left its alliance partner, Congress, red faced, as the latter continued to try and corner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over extra-judicial killings, excessive cases of abuse of power and rising instances of violence in the country in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections next year. The Congress has trained its guns on the highest powers of the BJP, including its party president, Amit Shah, and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath over extra-judicial killings and abuse of power to silence opponents.
Kumaraswamy, who has since issued several clarifications, including that it was an emotional statement, has been at the receiving end of criticism from political opponents and civil groups since then.
Speaking about the incident at a public meeting on Monday, Kumaraswamy justified his remarks stating that his comments were warranted because murderers were given bail and other liberties taken under the legal system.
The Congress, however, tried to downplay the incident.
“Unless it was identified that he was speaking to a police officer and issuing directions, it does not matter,” said a Congress leader, requesting not to be named. “Kumaraswamy is known to wear his heart on his sleeve and if you take away that from him, you are undermining his popularity,” said the person cited above.