Siddaramaiah tells police to crack down on cases

of hate speech, fake news

Karnataka CM directs police to file voluntary FIRs against those who disturb peace; senior officers will face action for unchecked crime, organised illegal activities in areas under their jurisdictions

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday ordered the State police to book suo motu cases and take stern action in cases of fake news, hate speech, and ‘moral’ policing.

“Law and order is directly related to the development of the State and we will not tolerate anyone who disturbs peace,” he said, speaking after the senior police officers’ annual conference in Bengaluru.

“We have zero tolerance towards anybody who takes law into their own hands, whoever that is, whatever their religion or party affiliation. We want to ensure that there is no communal violence. Action should be taken by registering a voluntary FIR against those who disturb peace of society,” he said.

“Disciplinary action is usually taken against junior officials and not against seniors. We have decided to hold Deputy Commissioners of Police and Superintendents of Police responsible for unchecked crime and organised illegal activities in their jurisdictions and take action against them,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said, adding that no crime could happen without the jurisdictional officers’ knowledge. He also instructed senior officials to not only visit police stations but also be on the ground and patrol the streets regularly.

Home Minister G. Parameshwara, who was present at the meeting, reportedly took objection to instances of police officials themselves identifying with the Hindutva right wing and warned officials that the government would not tolerate it.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the thrust is also on rooting out drug menace completely. “I have asked the officials to launch a special drive against narcotics in the State, particularly in Bengaluru,” he said.