Hubbali violence: Families want 'innocent' relatives freed, else they won't vote in the May 10 polls

12:40 PM Apr 26, 2023 | PTI |

A year after 89 persons were arrested for allegedly indulging in violence at Karnataka’s Hubbali, families of many of them claim their relatives are ‘innocent,’ insist they are unable to go through the bail procedures since they are illiterate and that they would boycott the May 10 Assembly polls if the accused ”who did nothing wrong” are not released.


In April last year, 89 people were arrested after a mob went on the rampage over a social media post that saw a police station and a Hanuman temple coming under attack. The violence was allegedly triggered following a social media post of a digitally altered image of a saffron flag flying over a mosque.

Some of the families of those who are still in jail claim their children and relatives were ‘innocent’ and had ”no role to play in the violence”. ”Most of them who were arrested, were picked up by the police randomly. We are illiterate. We do not know how to apply for bail or approach the court to get our children released,” some of the local residents said.

Mumtaz from Nava Anand Nagar in Hubbali, whose son was among the arrested and currently lodged in Kalaburagi jail, said she couldn’t meet him in the last one year.

Claiming her son was not guilty, Mumtaz said she will not cast her vote until her ward is released from prison.


”My son used to drive an autorickshaw in Hubbali. The police arrested and took him to Kalaburagi jail and since then, I haven’t heard his voice. It has been more than a year now. My son was innocent. I will not cast my vote until my son is released from jail,” Mumtaz told PTI.

The incident in Hubbali was the fallout of the alleged social media post, which others took objection to and lodged a police complaint. Subsequently, the person who made the post was arrested after a case was registered.

According to the family members of the accused, those who are lodged in the jail had written a letter to their community leaders, urging them to convey their message to the Centre and release them at the earliest.

”Three of my sons got arrested and one of them is in jail for the last 11 months. My children were not guilty in this incident. I will not cast my vote until my son is freed,” Shamshad from Nava Anand Nagar said.

She added around 50 people were arrested from Nava Anand Nagar area after the violence. Speaking about the case, Karnataka ADGP Alok Kumar said granting bail depends on the seriousness of the case and quality of evidence, among others.

”Several of the arrested were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Granting bail to the accused depends on the seriousness of the case, extent of law and quality of evidence, whether it is on video or pictures,” Alok Kumar told PTI. Mehboobi from Nava Anand Nagar, a widow and the sole earner of the family, claimed her son was not guilty.

”My son was not involved in the violence, yet he was arrested. My husband passed away and I have to take care of the family all by myself,” Mehboobi said.

Earlier, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had dismissed the allegations that innocent people were being held in connection with the Hubballi violence and said arrests were made based on evidence.

”No innocent person has been arrested. Based on evidence, people have been arrested,” he had said.

Batul from Nava Anand Nagar, whose husband was arrested last year in connection with the violence, also claims he was innocent.

She said she couldn’t approach the court for bail as she is illiterate and that she did not receive help from anyone to have a fair trial for her husband.

”My husband was arrested last year after the violence took place in Hubbali. I have two children and run the family by myself. I am illiterate, and hence, I couldn’t approach the court for my husband’s bail. There was no one to help me out. This is unfair. I will not cast my vote until he is released,” Batul told PTI.

Speaking about the mob violence and its aftermath in Hubbali, Human Rights activist Clifton D’ Rozario said that as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the case, the provisions make it difficult for people to get bail and the ”innocents suffer.” ”The Hubbali mob violence case has been taken over by the NIA and under this provision, getting bail is very difficult. Innocents held in such cases suffer. Applying for bail is a right,” Rozario said.

When asked about the families who are refusing to cast their votes in Hubbali, Congress candidate (Hubbali-Dharwad Central) Jagadish Shettar claimed he has always coordinated with all communities and ensured peace in the region. ”It is a legal matter but eversince I have been elected here in 1994, I coordinated with all communities and ensured peace in this area,” Shettar told PTI. Shettar, who quit the BJP recently, was first elected to the state Assembly in 1994 and has won for six times in Hubbali-Dharwad Central constituency. BJP candidate Mahesh Tenginkai refused to comment on the matter and said it ”is subjudice.”


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