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FIR against Renuka for 'Taliban' remark

FIR against Renuka for 'Taliban' remark

Author: Gururaj A. Paniyadi
Publication: The Asian Age
Date: February 19, 2009

The expression "Talibanisation of Mangalore" has put Union minister for women and child welfare Renuka Chowdhury in a spot with the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC), third court, Mangalore, directing the Mangalore Rural police on Wednesday to file an FIR against her. The FIR will be filed based on a private case filed by Mangalore mayor Ganesh Hosabettu and 14 others. The alleged offences in the case are non-bailable.

After hearing the arguments in the case on Tuesday, Mr Bringesh reserved his order till Wednesday. The petitioner's counsel, Padma Prasad Hegde, said the court had directed the police to file an FIR and submit an investigation report by March 20.

In New Delhi, Ms Renuka Chowdhury said the world was watching what was happening Karnataka. "What is it that I have said? What are they filing an FIR against me for? The world is watching what was happening in Mangalore, Karnataka when women were attacked outside a pub that day and the later incident of a girl committing suicide. 'Talibanisation of Bangalore' was not made by me but every newspaper and magazine has said this," she told reporters outside Parliament on Wednesday. She said the law should be looking into those committing these crimes, and not her.

The case has been filed against Ms Chowdhury under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language and engaging in acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) of the IPC.

"All the three sections under which the case has been filed against Ms Chowdhury are non-bailable in nature. Once the FIR is filed against her, the police has the power to arrest her. No warrant is required. They do not have to make the arrest in Karnataka and can go to Delhi and arrest her," he added.

As many of the organisations that filed cases against Ms Chowdhury function in the jurisdictional limits of the Mangalore Rural police station, the court has asked the local police to file the case, advocate Hegde clarified. According to him, the mayor and 14 others had filed the criminal case against Ms Chowdhury after taking exception to her statement that Mangalore has been "Talibanised" and that Hindu girls were not allowed to speak to Muslim boys in the city.

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