Karnataka Popular Front of India (PFI) President AK Ashraf on Wednesday, refering to the police lathicharge on Tuesday evening, said that the department should answer why lathi charge is being imposed only on Muslims and called for a silent protest infront of Dakshina Kannada’s Uppinangady town SP office on December 17.
Ashraf condemned the act of ruthless police brutally against peacefully protesting citizens on Tuesday, and also demanded the immediate release of arrested PFI leaders.
As per reports, local police had summoned three PFI leaders – Uppinangady President Abdul Hameed Majestic, SDPI Nekkeladi President Zakaria, and Uppinangady Block President Mustafa Lateef for questioning them in a recent murder case and had later detained the members.
Following the arrest, PFI members gathered near the police station and started demanding the release of three leaders. One detainee was released in the evening, while the other two continued to remain at the police station.
Speaking at a news conference in Mangalore city, the PFI leader said, “Three persons were illegally detained by the police overnight but here was no indication of their arrest. They had been summoned by the cops to inquire into a local case. But the police had no basis to detain and interrogate them.”
“Protesters sat on the sidelines demanding the immediate release of the innocents. Around 7 pm, one leader was released, while the police officer had promised to release the two others shortly. But even after a long time, they were not released. The police had hurriedly lashed out at the people who were peacefully protest,” he said.
Allegeding that several protesters were seriously injured in the incident, Ashraf said, “This demonic attitude of the police is reprehensible. Brutal lathicharge has resulted in severe injuries to the protesters’ heads.”
The head of Muslim cleric Syed Atoor Tangal, who was at the forefront of the protest, was seriously injured. The PFI leader said the cleric was hit so badly that he went unconscious and fell on the road.
Of the hospitalized victims, the condition of the two people is serious and about 40 percent are receiving treatment at various hospitals.
PFI district president Ijaz Ahmed, Mangalore city president Khadar Kulayi and Puttur taluk president Jabir Ariyadka were also present at the press conference.
The PFI accused the police of resorting to “unprovoked attacks” after a peaceful protest by its members and called the arrest “unjust”.
On Wednesday, PFI’s State General Secretary Nasir Pasha has called for a statewide protest to condemn the ‘police brutality’ on its members.
Advocate Mohammed Niyaz of the APCR Karnataka Chapter, condemning the police lathicharge, has urged the top authorities to take appropriate action.
“It is indeed reprehensible that the police lashed out at protesting PFI members and activists at Uppinangadi. The arrests and release of innocents in the case will people panic. It is even more anarchy to resort to violence, rather than maintaining peace by the police, who have to keep the peace intact through negotiations with the protesters,” Advocate Niyaz said.
He said that it’s appalling to see some innocent people being assaulted, which has created an atmosphere of unrest and the police should take precautionary measures in this regard.
“In any case, efforts should be made to maintain truth, justice and law and create an atmosphere of peace. Communal conflict should be held accountable to prevent communal polarization. Everyone should work together in this,” Niyaz noted.
Police sources told Indian Express that nine cops, including Puttur Deputy Superintendent of Police Gana P Kumar, and at least 10 Popular Front members were injured during the police lathicharge.