A BJP worker who deposed as a witness before the Kedambadi Jagannath Shetty Commission of Inquiry claimed that the miscreants whose action led to police firing in which two were killed in Haveri came with the intention of maligning the Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and the BJP government.
Umesh Wagh, the former President of BJP Yuva Morcha said that the miscreants were all teenagers and youngsters, and not farmers.
Several of them being inebriated, began threatening and taunting a peaceful procession taken out by BJP workers against the hike in fuel prices. He said that the miscreants attacked the police with stones and challenged them to open fire.
The witness claimed that they also pelted stones at the fire brigade that had to come to douse a bus that was set afire.
Halappa, a farmer from Haveri and an eyewitness to the incident also defended the police firing. He said that the miscreants were not farmers and the police were only trying to chase them away initially.
He then claimed that the miscreants locked the door of the police van to prevent the police from getting out and tried to set the van on fire, which provoked the police to fire from inside. Halappa also said that the two deceased - Siddalingappa Choori and Putappa Honnati - were not farmers and the violence in Haveri had nothing to do with the scarcity of fertilisers.
Meanwhile, a representative of a television channel also deposed at the hearing and submitted a CD of a panel discussion on Haveri violence that was aired.
The CD was sought by the commission advocate Madhusudhan Adiga for review. The advocate had filed for the application on grounds of ‘interfernce with the course of justice’ after Congress leader R V Deshpande and JD(S) youth wing leader Suresh Hosamani had accused the BJP government as being responsible for the police firing.