Mangaluru, June 29, 2023: The Anti-Communal Wing formed in the Mangaluru City Police Commissionerate limits, following the directive of State Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara during his maiden visit after taking charge, has not only aroused a lot of curiosity and interest but has also made news at the national level.
Mangaluru being a communally sensitive district in the recent years, the rising moral policing incidents mostly targeting young pairs of different communities has severely dented the image of Mangaluru which is an educational hub and is also known for its enterprising populace.
Right from the 2009 infamous pub attack and the subsequent several moral policing incidents reported in the recent years, each had a severe impact on the district and its reputation. Many activists attributed the recurrence of such incidents as a result of the impunity granted to moral policing, political support to the outfits and a passive approach of the previous BJP regime.
The Congress in its manifesto for the Karnataka election had said that the party is committed to taking firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations spreading hatred among communities on grounds of caste and religion.
Home Minister Parameshwar during his visit to the city had said that the moral policing cases not only brought disrepute to the district but also created roadblocks for investment in the state. “Moral policing should not be allowed at any cost,” the Minister had affirmed during his visit.
As per the orders issued by the City Police Commissioner with regard to the formation of the Anti-Communal Wing, its main responsibilities include tackling moral policing, investigating previous communal-related murders, attempted murders, theft of cows, illegal cow trafficking and cow slaughter, and monitoring organisations associated with communal matters. The ACW will also monitor all communal cases and the accused persons in such cases. Any case in this regard would be first reported to the jurisdictional police station before being transferred to the Anti-Communal Wing.
As per the government, the Wing will come into force only in Mangaluru city police limits as of now and will be extended to other parts of the state if a necessity arises.Already, the formation of the Anti-Communal Wing has invited criticisms from some sections of the BJP.
Mangaluru South MLA Vedavyas Kamath said the Anti-Communal Wing of the police set up by the Congress government has put a dent on Brand Mangaluru concept. It will also affect the economic growth of the city, he alleged and demanded that the Anti-Communal Wing be discontinued.
Even Udupi MLA Yashpal Suvarna has come down heavily on the state government decision to establish anti-communal wing and said this was an attempt to instill fears in the minds of the people.
Referring to the DJ Halli and KG Halli incidents that took place in Bengaluru some time back, the MLA said the government which had not taken it seriously, has instead targeted Dakshina Kannada district by forming the anti-communal wing, he alleged.
But, it is beyond doubt that rising incidents of moral policing in coastal Karnataka, especially in Mangaluru, in the last few years have cast a shadow over the port city. Will the Anti-Communal Wing be able to curb moral policing incidents and other incidents with communal overtones? Will those taking law into hands in the name of moral policing and cattle trafficking be dealt with an iron hand as promised by the government? People are waiting and watching, but certainly the Anti-Communal wing has given wings to the hope that cops would crack down communal elements.