Bengaluru: The Bengaluru police has filed an FIR (first information report) against former Karnataka chief ministers H.D.Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah along with other top political leaders in the state on charges of sedition and attempting to wage a war against the government of India. Senior leaders DK Shivakumar, Parameshwara, Dinesh Gundu Rao, S.R.Mahesh and D.C.Thamanna, then Bengaluru city police commissioner, T.Suneel Kumar and some senior police officials have also been booked in the case.
The FIR was filed under various sections, including Section 124A that deals with sedition, and Section 121 for waging or attempting to wage war against the government of India. Mint has seen the copy of the FIR.
The case was filed based on a private complaint against the leaders for protesting income tax raids during Lok Sabha elections.
According to the complaint, filed before the court by an activist A. Mallikarjuna, the then chief minister Kumaraswamy had announced that he was aware of imminent raids on Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) supporters by the I-T department. Leaders of the former allies had accused the I-T department of behaving in a partisan manner to target opposition leaders while the BJP was openly flouting election norms.
Kumaraswamy, his deputy Parameshwara, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, ministers in the coalition government, and lawmakers of then ruling parties had staged a protest in front of the I-T office in alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
The complaint also said that the leaders raised slogans against I-T officials saying they were "BJP agents", which he stated amounted to obstruction of duty.
The complaint is against 19 people and entities that include politicians, senior police personnel and election officials.
“We never went to the I-T office. We protested 150 meters away," Shivakumar said in Bengaluru on Friday.
He called the raids part of “political vendetta" and accused BJP and their supporters of being behind the targeting of opposition leaders.
The Congress and other parties have used the 50 day confinement of Shivakumar--being probed in an ED case on money laundering--and the over 100 days of confinement of former union finance minister P.Chidambaram to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre of misusing investigating agencies, among others, to target, harass and silence opposition leaders.
“We are well within our rights to protest," Dinesh Gundu Rao, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president said. He added that the court should also think before passing such orders and called the slapping of sedition charges “unwarranted".