Boralingaiah takes charge as Police Commissioner in Belagavi

Transfer comes close on the heels of law and order disturbance

M.B. Boralingaiah took charge as Police Commissioner in Belagavi on Saturday. The 2008 batch IPS officer assumed charge on the day he was promoted as Deputy Inspector-General of Police.

He replaces K. Thiyagarajan who has been moved after a six-month stint. Dr. Thiyagarajan, a Veterinary graduate from Tamil Nadu, is set to take charge as the DIG (Recruitment), Bengaluru.

It is being widely perceived that the transfer was caused by the law and order disturbance created by a few anti-social elements in the name of the Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute.

Trouble began during the Maha Melava rally organised by Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti on the first day of the Winter Session of the State Legislature on December 13, 2021. Some members of Karnataka Nava Nirmana Vedike insulted MES leaders Deepak Dalvi and Manohar Kinekar by throwing ink on them during a MES rally. Shiv Sena leaders in Kolhapur reacted to this by setting on fire the Kannada flag. A few days later, some miscreants in Bengaluru desecrated a Shivaji statue. The same night, a group of miscreants threw stones at and set on fire some government vehicles and damaged boards, banners and posters in Belagavi.

The next night, a statue of Sangolli Rayanna was damaged in Angol in Belagavi. This led to calls for a ban on MES by some Bengaluru-based Kannada organisations.

Kannada protagonists Vatal Nagaraj, T.A. Narayana Gowda and Praveen Shetty organised a protest in front of the Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi. They also gave a call for a State-wide bandh on December 31, 2021, which was eventually withdrawn after the Chief Minister’s intervention.

An investigation of the stone-throwing incident led the police to arrest 38 activists, including Sri Ram Sena Hindustan founder Ramakanth Konduskar and Shubham Shelke, who fought the Belagavi bypolls as MES candidate. A local court rejected their bail applications on Friday.

However, the investigation of the Sangolli Rayanna statue desecration is still on. As many as four persons, including a political activist, have been picked up for questioning by the police. But no one has been arrested yet in this connection.

An officer involved in the investigation of the Sangolli Rayanna statue incident said that the main reason for the desecration was probably party politics and not the language issue.

Some people feel the police did not succeed in containing the disturbance that spread to Bengaluru and other parts of the State. Police officers, however, argue that they did their best to manage the situation but it was blown out of proportion by the media and also because the timing of the incidents coincided with the Winter Session of the State Legislature.

“The incidents in Belagavi or Bengaluru were minor issues. The police cannot be blamed for such incidents. Unfortunately, their timing was not right. What is more, the media blew them up,’’ said a police officer who has served as Police Commissioner in Belagavi earlier.

The media and the activists should understand that the police cannot prevent such incidents “however hard we try”.

“We can only ensure that the disturbance does not spill out to other areas and the offenders are booked in time,” he added. He also said that the trend of transferring police officers based on some incidents is demoralising to junior officers and also, it tends to bring additional burden on the new incumbent.

Source: Read Full Article