Let them do politics, not take law into hands: DK Shivakumar over protest march on flag hoisting row

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BENGALURU: As BJP and JD(S) workers led a massive protest in Mandya to oppose the state government’s decision to remove a saffron flag hoisted on a 108-foot flagpole at Keragodu village in Mandya district, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said that protesters are free to do politics, but should not take law into their hands.

“They should have basic common sense. Let them do politics, but not take the law into their hands. We respect all religions. We can’t allow anyone to take the law into their hands”, Shivakumar said while speaking to reporters on Monday.

To a question on whether permission was given to hoist only the national flag on the flag pole, Shivakumar said, “That is why I am telling you. They want to do politics, let them do”.

The BJP and JDS, which are partners in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), are holding a ‘padyatra’ after the saffron flag hoisted on the 108-foot flagpole in the village was removed. Meanwhile, security has been heightened and prohibitory orders under IPC Section 144 have been imposed in Keragodu as tensions prevailed in the village.

Former gram panchayat vice president Virupaksha said that when the “request letter” was written, it was mentioned that the flagpole would also be used for religious purposes. “The Chief Minister does not know the reality of this controversy. The officer at the district level has given wrong information to the Chief Minister. When we wrote the request letter, we mentioned that would also use this for religious purposes. What we are requesting is to permit us to hoist the saffron flag”, Virupaksha said.

In his response, CM Siddaramiah on Sunday said that it was not right to hoist the bhagwa flag instead of the national flag. Accusing the BJP of plotting against the state government by intimidating people in the village, the CM said, “It is no accident that the Hanuman flag is hoisted where the national flag should have been hoisted, deliberately violating the rules and protesting against the government”.

“This incident is a pre-arranged act of the BJP and Sangh Parivar. Such a situation has been created with the intention of systematically raising the people against the state government. There is no doubt that the plot to create communal riots in Mandya is a preparation for the Lok Sabha elections by the BJP leaders”, Siddaramaiah claimed.

The CM said that his government is committed to maintaining peace and order in society. “We are not against any particular caste, religion, or community. Our stand is pro-constitutional. People should not make the mistake of following the words of BJP leaders and taking legal action. It is the duty of all of us to respect the Constitution and the law”, he asserted.

“The opposition parties are playing politics regarding the eviction of Hanumadhwaja in a village in Mandya district. It is not right to hoist the Bhagwa dhwaja instead of hoisting the flag of India. According to the rules, it is not allowed to fly any other flag on the flagpole where the national flag should be flown”, the CM said. (ANI)

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