Bangalore: Ahead of the impending inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Karnataka police department has initiated investigations into activists associated with the Ram Mandir movement. They stand accused of property destruction and other offenses during the peak of the movement thirty years ago. A special team has reportedly been formed to identify individuals involved in incidents related to the 1992 Ram Mandir movement, which resulted in violence and intercommunal conflicts.
In relation to an alleged incident of torching a minority-owned store in Hubballi on December 5, 1992, Srikanth Poojari has been taken into custody by the Hubballi police. Poojari is the third defendant in the case, and the police are actively seeking eight more defendants. He has been placed under court supervision. Furthermore, the Hubballi police have compiled a list of 300 ‘suspects’ reportedly connected to communal conflicts between 1992 and 1996. Police sources indicate that these ‘accused’ individuals, now in their early and late 70s, with many having left the city.
Many of these ‘suspects’ currently hold prominent positions, prompting the police to consider the potential consequences of filing lawsuits against them. There are indications that the Congress government has instructed the police department to thoroughly investigate these cases. Notably, several members of the Ram Janma Bhoomi movement have risen to become prominent BJP politicians, and reports suggest that cases against these leaders were dismissed under BJP rule.
The actions of the Congress government have faced strong criticism from Hindu organizations, asserting that this move is a strategic response to the BJP’s door-to-door campaigning and the impending opening of the Sri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. This development is expected to ignite a significant debate in the state, particularly in light of the major violence that erupted in Karnataka in the 1990s due to Islamist opposition to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, led by veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani.