Govt. does a U-turn on controversial circular

The Home Ministry on Saturday withdrew the controversial circular issued by the office of the Director-General and Inspector-General of Police(DG&IGP) to heads of all districts on dropping cases registered against “innocent minorities”, claiming that it was a “clerical error”.

The circular, which had riled the BJP that said it amounted to “minority appeasement”, was recalled and the department issued a revised version instead, dropping the word “minorities” and inserted “all innocent people”.

Speaking to presspersons here on Saturday, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the notice was issued only in the context of implementation of the Sachar Committee recommendations. The Cabinet subcommittee constituted for implementation of the committee recommendations had sought information from all police officials on cases registered against those from minority community.

Revoking cases against innocent people from minority community was among the several recommendations of the committee report, which the subcommittee headed by Minister for Health and Family Welfare K.R. Ramesh Kumar sought to implement. In this context, a note was originally sent on December 22, 2017 to all the police officials concerned, followed by a reminder on January 25, 2018, the Home Minister clarified.

Revised notice

Nonetheless, the department has now issued a revised notice, as the government is open to withdrawing cases against innocent people from all communities, not just with regard to communal clashes, but also in cases of Cauvery, Mahadayi, and farmers protests, Mr. Reddy said.

“Let the organisations concerned send us an appeal and we will consider them all,” he said, referring to pro-Hindutva outfits. However, if it was a case of murder, attempt to murder or damage to property, the cases could not be dropped, irrespective of which community the accused belonged to, he added.

As many as 414 cases, registered against innocent people during protests or clashes, were withdrawn between 2015 and 2017. This amounts to a total of 3,164 accused, including 2,806 Hindus and 341 Muslims. These are not just with regard to communal clashes but also include other incidents and protests, the Home Department stated.

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