Bengaluru, Sept 30: Karnataka has witnessed 163 cases of communal violence or riots since 2019 with nearly a hundred cases reporting this year alone, according to official data.
The data tabled by the state government in the legislature earlier this month, also revealed that almost three-fifths of those communal incidents took place in in Shivamogga, the home district of home minister Araga Jnanendra and BJP bigwigs B S Yediyurappa and K S Eshwarappa.
In 2019, the state had witnessed only 16 cases. However, in 2022 (till September) the state saw 96 incidents of communal violence or riots in what many see as a symptom of polarisation taking place ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections. In 2020 and 2021 the state had witnessed 19 and 32 cases respectively
Interestingly, of the 96 cases this year, 42 belong to Shivamogga.
Since 2019, which happens to be the year when the BJP came to power, 18 districts have reported communal violence. Shivamogga tops the list with 57 cases followed by Bagalkot (22), Davangere (18), Dakshina Kannada (10), Kodagu (10).
There were communal killings in Dakshina Kannada, Gadag (Nargund) and Shivamogga, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said in his written reply to the Legislative Council. Also, more than 300 police personnel sustained injuries during riots.