Bijapur (Karnataka) : On 23rd December, ‘two-wheelers’ procession was taken out for propagation of ‘Hindu Dharmajagruti Sabha (sabha)’ scheduled on 25th December. The procession was taken out in a very peaceful and disciplined manner on the planned route; but police stopped it in ‘Golgumbaj’ area and started cane-charging the participants. 3 two-wheelers and one car were taken into custody by the police. Police did not have proper knowledge about the route of the procession; therefore, although it was being taken out as per the approved plan, police cane-charged participants alleging that it was taken from a wrong route. It was observed by Hindus that police wanted to stop the procession somehow; therefore, they took such action creating tension in the area. Pro-Hindu activists asked police for explanation when they returned two vehicles. Police cane-charged even an activist of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) who was video-recording the procession. 200 devout Hindus took part in the procession.
- The procession was to start at 11.00 a.m. Police, however, granted permission for the same only at 10.30 a.m. and despite giving permission, police created obstacles in the procession.
- Police were approached on 10th December for permission; but due to political pressure, permission was not being granted. Activists of HJS had to go to police station many times for follow up. Police stipulated few conditions before granting permission. (E.g. submitting registration numbers of all vehicles taking part in the rally; diversion of route as area being Muslim-dominated; not to raise slogans; in case of any loss, Coordinator of HJS to be held responsible etc.)
- There is a time limit of 5 days for police to grant any permission or latest within 7 days, they have to give permission; but police broke the rule and took 13 days to grant permission; besides stipulating that the procession should be wound up within 1 hour.
- Police had informed that permission would be granted at 4.00 p.m. on 22nd December; therefore, HJS activist went to police station at that time, but he was asked to come at 5.00 p.m.; after going at 5.00 p.m., he was asked to come at 8.00 p.m.; after going at 8.00 p.m., police informed that permission would be given on 23rd December at 9.30 a.m. The concerned department was, however, not even opened at 9.30 a.m. Police were contacted over phone when they said that permission would not be given. Later, at 10.30 a.m. permission was finally given; but that too after harassment.