Leaders urged not to communalise the bandh called on Friday
Responding to allegations by a few Muslim leaders, the Raichur Zilla Hitarakshana Samithi, a forum of various civil-society organisations, clarified that Friday’s Raichur bandh was against the State government’s tendency of imposing an outsider as district Minister and not against any community.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Raghavendra Kushtagi, forum leader, said that he was hurt by objections to the bandh which was planned in the larger interest of getting a local district in-charge Minister.
“Tanvir Sait might have hailed from Muslim community. But, we are not seeing the issue from that angle. We welcome him as a Minister. But, oppose his designation as Raichur in-charge. We opposed whenever government sent outsiders — right from N. Dharam Singh through Anand Asnotikar, Satish Jarkiholi to Sharan Prakash Patil — as Raichur district in-charge Minister. It is in this view that we opposed Tanvir Sait’s designation,” he said. Mr. Kushtagi urged the Muslim leaders not to communalise the issue.
“Raichur is known for peaceful coexistence of different castes, religions, communities, linguistic groups with diverse socio-cultural practices. The bond between these communities is so strong that the district never witnessed any communal riots. Whenever vested-interests, be it majority communalists or minority ones, made attempts to breach this harmonious social fabrics, we firmly stood in protest and protected our tradition. It is painful that we are being projected by a few as anti-Muslims,” he said.
Mr. Kushtagi alleged that some Muslim leaders, at the behest of some Congress leaders were attempting to mislead their community. He appealed to the people from all walks of life, irrespective of caste, religion and other cultural identities, to participate in the bandh to register their protest.
‘We welcome Tanvir Sait as a Minister, but oppose his designation as Raichur in-charge’