In an eight-hour long operation on Tuesday, the Karnataka police detained over 80 people, mostly office-bearers and members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) from across the state on the basis of intelligence inputs that they were trying to foment trouble in the society.
Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Alok Kumar noted that raids were conducted by the NIA as well as the state police last week. The NIA had at the time secured seven people from Karnataka and the state police 13.
”Continuing with it, we had received information from various agencies; based on that, we have conducted the operation since 3 AM and brought it to halt around 11 AM,” Alok Kumar said.
He told reporters that more than 80 people have been secured and they will be produced before the Taluk Executive Magistrates, who will remand them to preventive custody.
”Only after furnishing two sureties- one by a government servant and one by a family member- will they be released,” he said.
Those who have been taken into custody have been inciting communal violence, disorder or trying to foment trouble in the society in the past and even now, the senior police officer said.
Kumar said most of them arrested are members of the radical Islamist out PFI, and few are from SDPI, which acts as its political front, and have been very active.
”More than 80 of them have been taken into custody, 20 are still under consideration, we are questioning them and then we will take a decision,” he said, adding that state police have done a good job and the highest number of persons have been secured in Karnataka in the operation which is on in various states.
The operation was in various parts of the State including Bengaluru Rural, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Tumakuru, Kolar, Raichur, Gadag, Mangaluru, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Mandya, Ramanagara, Udupi, Chamarajanagar, Kalaburagi, Hubballi, and Dharwad, official sources said.
The police is said to have seized certain ”documents and evidence” during the searches and are inquiring about involvement in anti-social activities.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the police action is a ”preventive measure based on certain information”.
”It is a preventive measure through tahsildars… police work on a lot of information, based on such information certain preventive measures need to be taken, police have done that. Not only Karnataka, police of all states have done it,” he said in response to a question whether there were plans for CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act)-like protests.
PFI activists staged protests in some places condemning the police action.
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra too, noting that police action was a precautionary measure said, ”The reason (for the police action) is that during the NIA raids and police raids against those involved in terrorist acts recently, these people had tried to arouse some tension.” As they may create tension and disturb peace in future too, they have been taken into custody, as a precautionary measure, the Minister said.