What happened in Shimoga?

This is an attempt to bring into lights the real facts and situations prevailing in Shimoga. The communal forces fabricated the facts and presented a completely false version of the story with the help of few micro-sections of the media. A ferocious communal propaganda is being raged by the Sangh Parivar to add fuel to the fire and polarize the society for political gains.
The Popular Front of India’s foundation day celebration was scheduled to happen on 17th Feb 2015 at Shimoga and Chamrajnagar. This day called the “Popular Front day” is celebrated across the country since 2008 to mark the launch of Popular Front and also highlight various contemporary issues before the nation. During the process of getting the permission the Popular Front leadership was informed by the Police department that the festival of Shivaratri also falls on the same day – 17th Feb 2015. To avoid any issues that may arise due to two programmes on the same day the leadership of Popular Front accepted the concern raised by the Police Department and decided to change the programme date to 19th Feb in Shimoga and 21st Feb in Chamrajnagar.

On 19th Feb the Unity March by Popular Front cadets and a grand rally started at 2:30 PM from ByPass-Road which was planned to pass through the heart of the city and finally conclude at the science-ground to be followed by a grand public programme. There were around 15000 people in the rally raising slogans related to various issues before the country such as neo-colonialism, communalism, anti-people policies and human rights. When the rally reached Gandhi Bazar a mob of Sangh Parivar goons started to gather in small gangs with stones and bottles. When the end of the rally reached the Gandhi circle the RSS goons started pelting stones and bottles on the rally. The volunteers of Popular Front controlled the mob by insisting them to keep moving and not to respond to the provocation. When the stone pelting continued a troop of Police armed with lathis intersected the rally and s lathi charged on the people who were part of the rally. This was a shocking incident as the people were peacefully walking in the rally and the lathi charge began without any warning or provocation. A video clip shared by the RSS goons is a proof which shows the Police charging on the rally which was just moving peacefully. It is not easy for us to assess or assume the intention of the Police for the directly charging the peaceful rally and only the Police can give a clarification to this incident.

Even after the incident the leaders and volunteers of Popular Front were successful in bringing the people to the ground and avoiding any sort of direct confrontation with the Sangh goons. The grand public programme started as per schedule at 5PM and as per the request of the Police department the programme was concluded far ahead of the schedule at 6.00 PM. In the mean time the goons of Sangh Parivar gathered at the Gandhi circle has raged a violent attack on 3 shops 3 auto rickshaws, 2 goods auto, 5 bikes, 4 fruit vending wagon ,a house was set on fire. Stones were pelted on one Masjid and a total of 12 people were injured. When people from Udupi, Dakashina-Kannada and Chikmangalur were returning back from shimoga to their places , a well planed mob were waiting to attack them with stones and other weapons. This mob started attacking the people at a place called Gajanur(10Km from Shimoga), A total of 35 cars, 3 mini buses, 9 buses were attacked 17 people suffered head injuries out of which 1 person died , Circumstances are not clear who were involved in the clashes. The arson by Sangh Parivar goons continued even on the 20th and 21st Feb during the funeral procession, It should be noted that the Sangh Parivar goons ransacked shops and vehicle while section 144 was imposed by the Police.

As always BJP leaders campaigned to pressurize the police to arrest Muslim youths and fix various charges on them. Their prime targets were members and leaders of Popular Front. Unfortunately the Police succumbing to the pressure and has launched a witch hunt for Muslim youth. Police arrested youths who were not even present on the spot of the clash. It is quite evident that the Police are only trying to pacify the BJP and RSS by arresting innocent Muslim youths, even from other districts like Udupi, Dakashena-Kannada and Chikmangalur. Such a submissive attitude of the Police has only encouraged the Sangh Parivar to intensify its pressure on the Police to arrest Popular Front local members and leaders. The Police have arrested Popular Front members who attended the programme from Shimoga and even from neighbouring districts. It is indeed a shameful situation to see the BJP and RSS dictating terms on the Police in a state ruled by the Congress Party.

A similar program was conducted in Chamrajnagar on 21st Feb i.e. two days later of Shimoga programme. A similar rally, parade and programme with similar slogans and speeches was conducted successfully without any disturbances, it’s only because the police were highly alert & no opportunity was given to mischief mongers. This proves that the violence was not started by the people participating in rally but the goons of Sangh Parivar.

The larger question is why the RSS members from shimaga waiting in the highway with stones and other weapons..? its only to attack the people coming back from program..? Its evident that the sequence of events happened in Shimoga during the rally and after the rally is a well planned conspiracy of the sangh parivar to stop any democratic social movement and to destabilize a non-BJP ruled government in Karnataka. It’s high time to act against such anti-national plans, we urge all secular democratic organisations to unite and face this common enemy. And the ruling Congress government must not buckle to this conspiracy; they must check all the video footage / evidences to act against this national enemy.

Certainly we demand an impartial enquiry to punish the culprits.
We will fight the communal forces as always.
Firmly we stand with victims of Shimaga and other parts of Karnataka.

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