The war of words between the Congress and BJP leaders took a new turn with home minister K.J. George rejecting the demand made by Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan for withdrawing police cases against the BJP workers who had blocked roads during last month’s Kodagu bandh.
Besides the home minister, both the Kodagu SP and DC, rejected the demand for withdrawing the cases even as Appachu Ranjan raked up the issue at a meeting called on Tuesday to discuss the progress of development works.
The police had filed a case against BJP workers for blocking the road at Kushalnagar Gate and Bittangala during Kodagu bandh called to oppose the Kasturirangan report to conserve the Western Ghats.
Countering the BJP MLA, George said: “The case cannot be withdrawn. The Home Minister does not have any powers to interfere in the work of the police. As a minister I alone cannot take the decision. Only the cabinet can take a decision.”
SP Varthika Katiyar said that once the FIR is filed, no appeals could be made to cancel the FIR. The MLA should read CRPC and IPC laws, she said.
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tewari said that as per the Supreme Court guidelines, the organisers would be held responsible if any untoward incidents occur during bandhs.
The confrontation between the district administration and the BJP started after the Kodagu superintendent of police Vartika Katiar threatened to include the names of top Kodagu BJP leaders in the rowdy list for the attack on IFS officer S. Sivasankar. Sivasankar, posted as deputy conservator of forests, Madikeri wildlife division, was attacked at Fort Hall, Madikeri, on November 28 during a meeting over the recommendations of the Dr Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats.
EDITOR’S TAKE: Kodagu politicians belonging to both the Congress and the BJP have not allowed a fair debate on the Kastrurirangan report to preserve the greenery in Kodagu. Instead, the politicians have started a disinformation campaign against the report. The only conclusion that could be drawn from this is that the politicians are dancing to the tune of the Kerala timber mafia.
None of these discredited politicians of Kodagu have vociferously opposed the high tension power line because this would benefit the timber lobby.
The Kodagu politicians need to come clean on whether they are with the people, or the timber lobby.