Bajrang Dal’s arms training camp: A political turmoil has erupted in Karnataka’s Kodagu district after the transfer of the police officer who issued notices to the authorities of a school and the organizers of a ‘weapons training camp’. Gonikoppa’s circle inspector SN Jayaram was transferred on Tuesday. He had acted on a complaint filed against the school. The complaint said that arms training camps were organized in the school. The officer has been transferred to Karnataka Lokayukta, which is not considered a lucrative posting in the state’s police circles.
Images of youths firing in the air in the training camp organized in the school premises are going viral on social media. People are criticizing the administration for inaction against such activities. More than 100 people participated during the camp. Weapons like Trishul were also distributed here.
Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) state general secretary Afsar Kodlipet questioned the government as to why the officer was transferred for issuing notices to the organizers of arms training and school authorities. He said, “From this one can understand that the arms training camp organized in Madikeri was supported by the government. If you swear to be honest, then stop the transfer order and go for a fair investigation.”
The Popular Front of India (PFI) had filed a complaint against former speaker and BJP MLA KG Bopaiah, BJP MLC Suja Kushalappa and Bajrang Dal leaders for arms training. Kodagu has turned out to be a stronghold of the BJP in the last several elections and many elected representatives including two MLAs Apachu Ranjan and KG Bopaiah and MP Pratap Simha have been elected from here.
Bajrang Dal leader Raghu Sakleshpur on Monday claimed that the training camp was a workshop organized by the group to build mental and physical resilience among the workers. “The workshop was conducted with the intention of improving physical and mental resilience,” he said.
BJP national general secretary CT Ravi compared the weapons training given on Monday to that of the police. He said, “Every year, Bajrang Dal organizes this training at the state and district level for self-defense. The police department also provides training. What’s in it?” Congress’s Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah said on Monday, “The arms training in Madikere to young members of the Bajrang Dal challenges the law of our land… is the government still alive?”