‘Kalaburagi is emerging as Kalyana Karnataka’s crime capital under BJP rule’

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Priyank Kharge alleges connivance of police in criminal activities

Presenting data on the increasing crimes in Kalaburagi district, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) spokesperson Priyank Kharge said that the fast-developing city of Kalaburagi is rapidly emerging as the crime capital of the Kalyana Karnataka region.

“Congress government had realised the long-pending demand of establishing a police commissionerate in Kalaburagi hoping that it would contribute to the city’s development by improving the law and order situation. However, the city, under the last two-and-a-half years of BJP rule, has emerged as the crime capital of Kalyana Karnataka,” Mr. Priyank said at a media conference at the local party office in Kalaburagi on November 10.

Alleging connivance of the police department in the criminal activities, Mr. Priyank said that smuggling and sale of ganja (marijuana), gambling, cricket-betting and illegal sale of liquor were flourishing.

“The police department should be renamed as collection department as it shifted its primary task from maintaining law and order to collection of money from criminals in exchange of protection to their criminal activities. For BJP leaders, the police department has become the biggest source of revenue generation as they charge a huge amount of money for the transfer of police officers to particular posts. Soon after getting the postings by paying huge bribes, the officers in question start recovering the investment and making a profit by allowing the mafias of drugs, gambling and cricket-betting to operate and exploit the common people,” Mr. Priyank said adding that the drug peddlers had, with active support and protection from the police, established a systematic and well-oiled machinery for the distribution of drugs in every part of the city and district.

Mr. Priyank also said that officers in the police department had, as a means to increase their income, set a target for each subordinate to report 50 cases every day. The subordinates target ordinary people like bike riders and penalise them for petty offences in a bid to meet their target.

“The police department, which is hand-in-hand with drug peddlers and gamblers, is harassing common people for money. Bike riders are being fined ₹500 to ₹5,000 for even petty offences. It is an additional blow to the common people who had already been economically hit hard thanks to the BJP’s policies,” he said.

Pointing to recent murders in Kalaburagi in which the accused were in the 20-25 age group, Mr. Priyank said that young students, who are supposed to be in colleges, are roaming on the streets with lethal weapons and firearms committing murders in broad daylight.

“We demanded education and jobs for youth, but the BJP government is giving them drugs and weapons, and encouraging them to commit crimes,” he alleged.

He demanded constitution of a committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner to find out the reasons behind the rapid rise in crimes in the district and the involvement of police officers in criminal activities.

Former Minister Sharan Prakash Patil, District Congress Committee president Jagadev Guttedar and other party leaders were present at the media briefing.

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