A screen grab taken from the viral video.
New Delhi: A Karnataka BJP MLA, Somashekar Reddy, threatened anti-CAA protesters and minorities in India in highly inflammatory remarks at a gathering in Bellary, where he asked demonstrators to consider what will happen if people of the majority community come out on streets against them.
Reddy said, “We are 80 percent and you are just 17 percent. Imagine what will happen to you if we turn against you. This is my warning to you (CAA protesters), only 5% are here (at the event). If you create more trouble, if 100% of us come, what will happen to you?”
The video of his controversial speech has gone viral.
The Bellary MLA went on to say, “I want to warn people who are protesting. It has only been five months that we are in power and if you do too much ‘nakhra’ (drama), imagine what will happen to you when we come for you.”
A case was registered against Reddy on Saturday for his alleged provocative speech targeting those protesting against the CAA.
A delegation of Congress leaders led by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah submitted a memorandum against the MLA in the state Director General of Police office in Bengaluru and demanded he be booked for ‘sedition’.
“A large gathering of people in Ballari held a protest against the provocative speech and have submitted a memorandum seeking action. I have told them an FIR has already been registered and inquiry will be conducted and further action taken,” said Ballari Superintendent of Police CK Baba.
Baba said the case was registered based on the complaint by a local Congress committee member and an investigation was on. The case is against the legislator and organisers for provocative speech, he added.
After submitting the memorandum, Siddaramaiah alleged Reddy made the speech with an intention to instigate communal violence.
“Somashekar Reddy has spoken out what is BJPs mindset. His speech was directed against a particular community,” he said, adding that the protests against CAA and National Register of Citizens were not limited to any religion.
Accusing Reddy of speaking against the Constitution despite being an MLA, Siddaramaiah maintained it amounted to sedition and police should have registered a suo-motu case and arrested him.
“Im not sure under what sections they have booked him, he should be booked for sedition, as it is a serious offence and be arrested immediately, this is what we have asked police,” he said.
The former chief minister appealed to the public not to get instigated and maintain calm.
‘Reddy foolish to make such a statement’
Janata Dal (Secular) legislator Zameer Ahmed Khan slammed Reddy for his controversial comments and demanded strict action against him for inciting violence through hate speech.
“He (Reddy) is foolish to make such a statement. Who is this 80% and 17% he spoke about? You ask any child in Bellary who is a ‘tapori’ (goon) he/she will say it’s the Reddy brothers. We will go to the DG’s office and submit a complaint demanding strict action be taken against him. He should be dismissed as an MLA. I will also request the Speaker to take action,” Khan said.
Reddy also attacked the Congress party and its supporters for “misleading” people. “People in Congress are idiots. They are trying to mislead you and you believe them and then come out on streets,” he said.
The Bellary brother further said, “This is our country. That country’s (Pakistan) Prime Minister once said if you have to live here, you will have to live according to our rules or we will send you back. Don’t bring the same situation upon yourselves in India.”
The controversy comes even as protests against the newly amended Citizenship Act continue unabated across several parts of the country, including Karnataka.
(With inputs from PTI)
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