Opposition Leader Siddharamaiah tears into law and order machinery
Bengaluru: The gang rape of an MBA student at the foot of Chamundi Hill in Mysuru on Aug. 24 reverberated in the State Assembly yesterday with former Chief Minister and Opposition Leader Siddharamaiah stating that the incident took place squarely due to the negligence of the Police administration.
Mincing no words, Siddharamaiah said that Mysuru Police were indulging in hafta business from bars and restaurants and had no time to ensure the safety and security of women and children. “This is purely the failure of the Police and the law and order machinery in Mysuru, known for its culture and education centres,” he charged.
“There was a 15 to 16-hour delay in filing an FIR and there were efforts to hush up the case as the incident sullied the image of the Government. The Police here are lethargic and irresponsible and an example of this is that the Police chose to admit the victim to a private hospital instead of taking her to a Government Hospital as per procedure. A series of crimes have been reported at the foot of Chamundi Hill and the Ring Road areas. Still there is no proper Policing,” he said.
The former CM demanded that the Police conduct the probe effectively and ensure that the culprits get capital punishment. He urged the Police to file the chargesheet within 60 days and ensure that the guilty are punished within six months.
Joining the debate was JD(S) MLA G.T. Devegowda, who alleged that the Inspector of the jurisdictional Police Station where the incident had occurred did not cooperate with the boy’s father who went there to register a complaint. “Instead of registering the complaint, the Inspector bullied the boy’s father for allowing his son to go out with a girl.” Devegowda said.
Replying to the charges, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra assured the Assembly that he would seek trial of the case in a fast-track court. He defended the Police response and denied the charges of the Opposition that there was a delay in filing of FIR. “The Police have taken incidents of violence against women seriously and this is not the time to indulge in mud-slinging,” he told the Opposition parties.
Siddu’s wardrobe malfunction drowns Assembly in laughter
Opposition Leader Siddharamaiah was so engrossed in a debate on the gang rape incident that he did not realise his ‘panche’ (dhoti) had come off. He continued his tirade against the Police when KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar went up to him and whispered in his ears about his dhoti having fallen down.
“Oh, yeah?” Siddharamaiah said with his mikes on. Taking the incident in his stride and commenting on it in his own humorous style, the former CM said, “My dhoti has slipped. I will continue my speech after I fix it.”
The Assembly took a laughter break at this amidst a serious discussion. Even BJP MLA Kumar Bangarappa, officiating in the Speaker’s Chair, was uncontrollably laughing.
Siddharamaiah went on to say, “My dhoti never slipped before. But after COVID last year, I put on some 4-5 kg weight. My belly has really bulged. My dhoti just doesn’t stay.”
Congress MLA and former Speaker Ramesh Kumar intervened and said, “Our KPCC President wanted to save the image of the party and Siddharamaiah’s and whispered. But Siddharamaiah announced it to the entire House.”
“People from BJP will be waiting to dent our image and this happened. Shivakumar’s efforts went in vain,’’ he said, laughing.
Replying to him, Siddharamaiah said, “They (BJP) cannot do anything to our image. This is the reason why I wear long kurtas for protection. This also saves me from embarrassing moments.”