Links of Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) activists have emerged to the violence that broke out in Mangaluru on December 19, and sources have told Republic TV that the Mangaluru police are closely looking at the role of the Kerala unit of both these organizations. As per sources in the Mangaluru police, from spreading misinformation by forwarding texts to inflame students to the planning of violence even when section 144 was imposed, the planning and execution were allegedly led by Kerala wing of PFI and SDPI.
The BJP has renewed its demand for a ban on both the organisations with state president Nalin Kumar Kateel taking the lead. Kateel recently commented that there is a clear role of PFI in the rampage. Kateel said that "normal, ordinary" protestors do not plan a "Kashmir-style attack" on our forces and that the attack captured in CCTV footage should be treated as evidence of deliberate incitement of the police.
Reacting to the Republic TV's newsbreak on the involvement of PFI and SDPI in not just Mangaluru but even in Uttar Pradesh violence, S Prakash, spokesperson of Karnataka BJP said, "We have been, for years, demanding that both the organisations should be banned. There have been several murders and some even deemed as acts of terror in which members of PFI and SDPI have been involved in. We assure you that this (Karnataka) government will act on the ban in the state and also urge the central government to do the same across the country."
Leaders from PFI refused to come on record, saying the "current atmosphere is not friendly to comment". But claimed that this is just a continuation of the "witch-hunt" consecutive governments have carried out against them for being the voice of the underdogs.
Just hours after violence had broken out in Mangaluru, Karnataka home minister Basavaraj Bommai, in Delhi, had said, "Large scale arson has also taken place where police vehicles have been burnt. This is a deep conspiracy. People from Kerala have come to the city with the intention of causing riots and disturbing peace." Casting aspersions on leaders from the opposition parties, Bommai said, "Opposition wanted to create trouble. Siddaramaiah has already given clean chit to the stone pelters but the government has remained neutral, we have not given a clean chit to anyone. There is a political angle as well. Politicians from Kerala who conducted the inspection. This gives rise to questions about their motive."