Karnataka Police Dressing Up in Saffron on Dussehra Sparks Controversy; Siddaramaiah Questions Bommai

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Pictures of the staff of Kapu Police Station in Udupi district and Vijayapura Rural district in Karnataka wearing saffron shirts, stoles and white ‘panche’ (dhoti) on Dussehra have sparked off a controversy where Congress leader Siddaramaiah has questioned chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on their uniform being changed.

In a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah questioned the state government over law and order. “Why not hand them a trident as well and ordain violence? Your dream of jungle raj will be fulfilled then… On one hand police are harassing innocent people in the name of law and order, another way MLA walks into police station and releases the accused, where is law and order? In order to stay safe, people should rather stay locked up in their houses. If you can’t give a fair administration, why not resign and save democracy?”

Siddaramiah even asked CM Bommai if he had plans to “dissolve the police department and hand over law and order to RSS?” Bommai replied, “RSS is the tallest nation-building organisation, which treats every citizen equally unlike your selective appeasement for votes… My government and my party work is as per the constitution of India and not as per the extra-constitutional bodies like NAC.”

BJP MLA from Udupi Raghupathi Bhat asked Siddaramiah why he was scared of “saffron”. “Saffron stands for sacrifice. We have worshipped saffron since ancient times in this country. Siddaramiah is saying this to win over minorities and symbolise saffron with violence. While he opposed police wearing saffron clothes during festival, he wore Tipu Sultan’s hat and held a sword. Didn’t he realise unity and integrity? What is his problem if the police wore saffron?” asked Bhat.

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