PRESS RELEASE – V.S. Acharya
Dr. V.S Acharya who died recently, was a colleague of mine in the erstwhile Janata Party which was formed in the prison by the opposition leaders when the then congress prime minister clamped an emergency in India and suspended the constitution of India and denied even the right to life to the citizen of India from June 1975 to March 1977. 1977 till the Janata Party collapsed and disintegrated, I was a member of Janata Party and the Secretary of minority cell of Mangalore City. Dr. V.S. Acharya was the district president for erstwhile South Kanara (D.K and Udupi). He gave me an impression that he was a great democrat and a secular man. He was a soft spoken gentleman. I admired him for remaining in the opposition and for having spent nineteen months in jail for the sake of Democracy. He was of my age. I miss him very much not because of the impressions I have of him during our association in the Janata Party. I remember him more because of his role in attacking the Muslim and Christian Minorities in Karnataka, during his ministership especially as a Home minister in the present BJP government of Karnataka.
He had let loose a rule of tyranny never seen before by the minority people of Karnataka during his ministership. Soon after the church attacks PUCL Karnataka requested Justice Saldanha to head a one man enquiry commission to bring out the truth, Why and how the unprecedented attacks took place, in a place (Coastal Karnataka) where great peace, communal harmony and exemplary fraternity and brotherly feeling was existing?. If RSS has to choose any person and award a National award for permanently ruining the communal harmony in Karnataka, that award should go to Dr. V.S. Acharya. Even till today I am unable to believe that a man like Acharya could be capable of so much of hatred towards the minorities.
I agree that it is not fair and proper to comment adversely on a friend once he dies. But not to comment on a public figure who has been crooked, cunning and in one word evil, Could be wrong as history of a place, state, country or a people has to be recorded truly and fairly.
Dr. V.S. Acharya who died at the age of 71(my age) comes under the category of a public figure who changed the very relationship of minority communities with the majority communities and damaged personally the communal harmony that existed in Karnataka and especially in the Coastal Karnataka. History will not excuse this man and certainly I am not prepared to excuse him. I would not like to be a hypocrite like our clergy ( Christian Padries) who invited him for their 125th anniversary in Mangalore in spite of knowing fully well that he was the architect of Church attacks in Mangalore and around in 2008, along with another Doctor known as Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat.
I quote from Justice Saldanha’s report of church attacks of which more than 1 Lakh copies are in circulation in different languages all over the world.
“Sometime around 5.00 PM, the SP of the area along with about 20 officers of different ranks, all in uniform, with helmets and riot-control gear arrived at the place armed with lathis. They had come in a number of jeeps and police vans. The police constables were also armed with lathis and other equipment that is normally carried by the police while dealing with a violent mob. The records also indicate that apart from the SP and other police officers, the then DC was also present. The strange part of the operation was that these vehicles came from the City Centre and since there were a relatively large number of them, the majority of them were parked on the main road adjoining the Church, while about one third of the vehicles drove through the persons assembled there and stopped on the road beyond the assembled group opposite the Moti Mahal Hotel. Why the persons assembled there were blocked-off from both ends was not apparent at that time, but as I shall presently indicate, it was part of the Police master-plan which subsequently became apparent.”
“Now comes the most significant part of the incident. The police had brought with them two blue coloured tempos which were private vehicles (not Police vehicles) were bearing yellow coloured number plates. One of these was brought to the front of the Police vehicles on each of the two sides, with all the assembled persons sandwiched between the vehicles. What is very significant is the fact that each of these tempos was carrying about 20 young men per vehicle, ALL IN PLAIN CLOTHES. Each of these persons was armed with lathis or sticks. The Videos clearly show a fellow sitting above the driver’s cabin of each Tempo carrying a TRISHUL! I have done considerable research in trying to ascertain the identity of these persons. I have written to the SP asking him for an explanation with regard to the presence of these tempos and the occupants of these vehicles. Neither this man nor his subordinates have tendered any explanation nor have remained present on any of the eleven occasions when asked to do so. The occupants of these tempos had nothing to do with the police department. The victims in this and in all the other incidents where the same modus operandi was followed have clearly identified these armed miscreants who occupied the two tempos as local Bajrang Dal activists. When I discussed this matter with the Hon’ble Dr. Acharya, Home Minister, he told me that they were CONSTABLES IN PLAIN CLOTHES! (One of his many witticisms)”
“From the day the BJP Government came to power in the State which coincided with Dr. B. V. Acharya assuming the portfolio of Home Minister, militant activity of all the saffron brigades took an ugly turn. Open war was declared on the Christians and the Muslims. The Saffron brigades took charge of all the Police Stations in the District and dictated terms to the officers and staff, most of who willingly fell in line. What was the immediate fall-out? “
a) “The members of the saffron brigade could commit any atrocities or crimes; they had total immunity from the law enforcement authorities.”
b) “Any member of the minority community who had been threatened, beaten up or looted who went to complain at the Police Stations was assaulted and arrested under a host of NON-BAILABLE OFFENCES and put behind bars. It soon became evident that it was extremely dangerous to go to a Police Station or call the Police even in the most serious of cases. It is not surprising therefore that the police brought their partners in crime in the two Tempos openly, brazenly and brandishing TRISHULS! (refer Page No. 62 and 63 of the Report)”
“In the ‘synopsis of finding’ on Page No. 292, Justice Saldanha says, that every one of the attacks and incidents which took place was instigated and pre planned. They were state sponsored and not only sponsored but covered up by the state. The responsibility for this devolves squarely on the home minister Dr. V.S. Acharya and the Chief Minister.”
The government had announced to withdraw all the three hundred and thirty seven cases filed against Christian protestors on the next day of the church attack but so far, no cases are withdrawn nor paid the promised damages are paid. However all the cases filed against the culprits belonging to Ramsene and Bhajrang Dal have been withdrawn long back. When the home minister was asked in the assembly for withdrawing the all those cases filed against the culprits the unique answer he gave was, that “they were all political activists and not criminals”.
On page 299 he says a serious allegation was levelled particularly by the chief minister and the home minister that the minorities namely the Christians are indulging in conversions. I had devoted special attention towards examining this allegation thread-bear and found it to be downright false. It was pleaded as a justification for the violence; it is a sham allegation and afterthought. All the same it merited a deep examination and my finding is that it is factually incorrect, completely baseless and it should not have been pleaded at all.
Finally I must express with deepest disgust that the Home Minister Dr. V.S Acharya never thought it fit to visit the churches which were attacked thus proving beyond all doubts that he was behind this attack and that with his blessings the Police Department executed the operation. The part played by Bhajrang Dal and others was a very insignificant one.
The legacy of Acharya is still being kept up by is saffronized police, who were told by Acharya that each station should file 20 false cases against Christians alleging “Conversions”. This process is still under execution.