In a major embarrassment for Karnataka’s Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, a woman threw away the Rs 2 lakh he gave her family as compensation at his vehicle, saying “they wanted justice, not money”.

On July 7, three men were allegedly stabbed and assaulted with iron rods in Kerur over a case of alleged molestation.

The retaliatory attack disturbed the communal harmony, leaving the area tense.

According to the Bagalkote police, Arun Kattimani, Hindu Jagaran Vedike District Secretary, and two of his friends were victims of the assault.

THE VISIT

Kerur falls in Badami seat, from where Siddaramaiah has been elected as an MLA. The senior Congress leader went to visit the families of four persons, including Mohammed Hanif, who were injured in the clashes.

The leader is said to have given Rs 50,000 each to four members of Hanif’s family.

The families refused it, saying no leader had come to visit them and they did not want money, but justice. “We want justice, not money. Those who caused the violence should be punished to ensure peace in society,” said a woman, throwing the money at Siddaramaiah’s vehicle, a video of which has gone viral.

Siddaramaiah reacted to the incident saying he understands the pain the families were going through. He said he did not visit earlier as the situation was sensitive and he did not want to politicise it.

“In such situations, one should not do anything to disturb the peace and harmony or cause unnecessary incitement. Peace and harmony was disturbed due to the inaction of the police. I gave money as compensation in my personal capacity,” the leader said.

He added that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Karnataka government should have done this for the aggrieved families.

WHAT HAPPENED ON JULY 7?

Explaining the July 7 incident, a senior police officer said that Kattimani and his friends were walking towards a bus stop, when miscreants on a two-wheeler attacked them and stabbed Kattimani in the back.

Vehicles were set ablaze and two groups belonging to different communities clashed, which soon turned violent. The mob began torching the vegetable market and damaged several vegetable carts and parked vehicles.

Prohibitory orders were imposed and several schools and colleges were closed due to the incident.

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