Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary and Chikmagaluru legislator CT Ravi equated the arms training given by the Bajrang Dal with that of the police on Monday.
“Every year, Bajrang Dal conducts this training at the state and district level for self-defence. The police department also gives training. What’s there in that? And it is an air gun, not an Ak-47, not bomb-hurling training, but for self-defence,” Ravi said.
On Sunday, the Karnataka police are trying to collect information about a week-long “arms training” camp conducted by a right-wing group, Bajrang Dal, in Ponnampet in Kodagu district, about 240km from Bengaluru.
During the training camp, in which over 100 people took part, weapons like Trishul (trident) were distributed among the participants, the official said.
Pictures of the training camp, with youngsters firing air guns and later being given the Trishul, attracted sharp criticism on social media platforms for inaction against such activities. The training was conducted on a school campus.
“Arms training in Madikere to young members of Bajrang Dal has challenged the law of our land. Do we have a Home minister or Education minister in Karnataka? Is the government still alive?” Siddaramaiah, the Congress leader of the opposition said on Monday.
He added that legislators from the BJP too attended the event which raises questions if they had any regard for the constitution.
“Arms training is against the law & Home Minister should file a case against the leaders of Bajrang Dal & arrest them. Education minister BC Nagesh should take action against the school authorities for allowing Bajrang Dal to organise illegal activities. BJP should clarify their relationship with the organizations like Bajrang Dal, Hindu Jagarana Vedike & others who are involved in illegal activities. Has BJP granted any special concession to communal organizations like Bajrang Dal & SriRama Sene to disturb the peace in our State?” Siddaramaiah said.
The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) on Monday filed a complaint against the Bajrang Dal with the police.
The development comes at a time when the Basavaraj Bommai-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka has been accused of turning a blind eye on similar activities carried out by right-wing groups.