Taking a stern stance against rioting, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa has made it clear that there will be no compensation for the families of the two protesters killed during violence in Mangaluru, as it is yet to be proved whether they were rioters. Earlier, the Karnataka government had announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the families of the two protesters killed during violence against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
However, Karnataka CM Yediyurappa on Wednesday said that the government has taken back this decision, and also made it clear that giving compensation to criminals is an unpardonable crime in itself. He said, “We have not decided yet to give the exgratia to the family members of those killed in the police firing because giving criminals exgratia is an unpardonable crime in itself.”
Yediyurappa also plans to take strict action against rioters. He said that he had directed to identify the people who rioted on December 19 in the city of Mangaluru, bookcases against them and initiate stringent action. The Karnataka Chief Minister said, “It is now clear that it (Mangaluru protest) was a conspiracy. People tried to barge into the armoury of the police station. We are not going to spare anybody.”
Yediyurappa also brought to light how violence in Mangaluru was perpetrated in accordance with a sinister conspiracy. He said that stones were brought in an autorickshaw-trolley and dumped, and pelted on the police later on. Now, the Karnataka government would ascertain the background of those involved in arson and violence and arrest those involved in such crimes. The Yediyurappa government is therefore all set to take rioters and arsonists to task.
Earlier, a Karnataka MLA, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal had demanded withdrawal of compensation for those killed in anti-CAA violence. People who died in Mangalore aren’t innocent. He had said, “They were a part of mob. I demand that Chief Minister takes back the 10 lakh compensation announced. Patriots and Gau- Rakshaks should be given compensation. No compensation should be given to people who are part of a mob. This practise should be stopped.”
The Karnataka CM has set a very good precedent by not awarding compensation in a hurried manner. With this, he has brushed aside the political pressure that was being built against him. The fact remains that those who commit violence are not entitled to be given compensation, rather they are the ones who are liable to compensate for destruction to private and public property. It is a matter of fact that widespread violence took place in Mangaluru and that too in a systematic manner. In such a situation, it would be rather absurd to award compensation without determining if the deceased were victims of violence or its perpetrators.
Compensation cannot be awarded in a hurry without following the due process to determine the role of those killed during the violent protests. The Karnataka Chief Minister has set a very good precedent that must be followed even beyond Karnataka. Rule of law is the paramount consideration, and an elected government is supposed to function in accordance with this principle, instead of succumbing to political pressure.