Saying that Karnataka was witnessing rising instances of honour killing and communal politics, Naveddu Nilladidre, a collective fighting for human and women’s rights, said on Monday that it was extremely concerning that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was justifying such developments.

Referring to the killing of a Muslim youth in Khanapur in Belagavi district, allegedly by members of Sri Ram Sene Hindustan, the collective said it was shocking that such ghastly killings were still taking place in India. The freedom to choose one’s partner has been bestowed upon citizens by the Constitution, said K.S. Vimala of the All India Democratic Women’s Association.

To add to the problem, she said, “Mr. Bommai has justified that moral policing should be seen through the prism of action and reaction. This is a direct justification of such actions.” She said the Chief Minister was prioritising moral policing over harmony in society and such an attitude would instigate more hooliganism and destroy public health. “We condemn the statement of the Chief Minister,” she said.

While commending the role of the Belagavi police in arresting the 10 accused of murdering 24-year-old Arbaz Mulla in Khanapur, the collective said that the State Government should not derail the investigation or put any political or communal pressure on it. The collective also urged the government to compensate the mother of the victim and provide her adequate security. “The government should protect the rights of individuals guaranteed by the Constitution and control the right-wing organisations that work against human rights,” it added.

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