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Monday, April 22 2024
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Mangaluru

M’luru police set up anti-communal wing to tackle moral policing

Anti communal wing
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Mangaluru: The Mangaluru city police have announced the establishment of an Anti-Communal Wing, a response to the growing concerns surrounding moral policing incidents. The home minister, G Parameshwara, initiated this effort, which is now operational, with an inspector at its helm.

Mangaluru City police commissioner Kuldeep Kumar R Jain emphasized that the wing’s primary role is to monitor and deter moral policing occurrences within the city. He elaborated, “The ACW, led by the inspector from the city’s special branch, will have around six members. This unit will function under the supervision of ACP (CCB) PA Hegde, who will directly report to the police commissioner.”

The Anti-Communal Wing will be tasked with vigilantly tracking individuals involved in communal cases within the city. Jain explained, “Their activities, including court proceedings, will be closely monitored. The team will also assess any difficulties faced by victims due to the accused.”

Jain clarified that while the unit will address moral policing, it will also handle other forms of hate crimes. “The team’s mandate is broad, encompassing the monitoring of all communal activities, hate speeches, and incidents related to moral policing and cattle trafficking. Social media platforms will also be under observation. We will remain watchful for any developments that could disrupt communal harmony, collecting actionable intelligence to avert potential disruptions,” he said.

The Anti-Communal Wing is also assigned the task of creating a comprehensive database spanning the past decade, including about 200 cases ranging from cattle theft to moral policing and even murder. Jain revealed that the team is already engaged in monitoring activities, including observing trials and gathering actionable intelligence.

However, this six-member wing, led by the inspector, will not be responsible for investigating moral policing cases. That responsibility will remain with the local police, as per officials familiar with the situation. Furthermore, the unit’s jurisdiction will be confined to Mangaluru city and will not extend to the Udupi district, which also experiences a high number of cases.

An activist based in Mangaluru, opting for anonymity, expressed skepticism about the unit’s efficacy. “Coastal Karnataka faces significant moral policing issues, with a strong network of informants aiding both Hindu and Muslim right-wing groups in carrying out attacks. We’re uncertain if a team as small as six can effectively address this problem,” stated the activist.

Local police often find themselves caught between right-wing groups and activists in the coastal districts. Informants, often stronger in influence than the police, offer tips about interfaith couples and their movements. “Hindu right-wing groups have a notable following among auto-rickshaw drivers and private bus operator employees in the city. They aren’t motivated by money, but by ideologies like love jihad,” explained Mangaluru-based activist Vidya Dinkar.

The commissioner clarified that officers will operate in the field and register suo motu cases where necessary for swift action. However, the local police will conduct the investigations.

Shortly after becoming the Home Minister on June 6, G Parameshwara announced the creation of the Anti-Communal Wing to counter communal and moral-policing incidents in the region, ensuring legal action against the culprits. He asserted, “I’ve given firm instructions to maintain social harmony… Stringent action must be taken against those involved in communal incidents. Moral policing should be unequivocally discouraged.” He warned that if the home department doesn’t address communal issues, they could escalate.

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