Watch: Karnataka Cops Beat Congress Worker, Take Off His ‘PayCM’ T-Shirt


The incident took place at Gundlupeth in Chamrajnagar.

Bengaluru:

A Congress supporter marching for the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Karnataka on Saturday was beaten up by the police and had his t-shirt removed forcibly because it said ‘PayCM’ – a campaign targeting Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai over corruption allegations. The man was also arrested and later released on bail.

Mr Bommai is said to be furious over the campaign, which is a play on the name of the digital payments app ‘PayTM’. The campaign uses a QR code bearing an image of the Chief Minister which points to a website called “40% Sarkara”, accusing the Bommai-led BJP government of charging 40 per cent commission on public works.

Last week, senior Congress leaders including former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, state unit chief DK Shivakumar, Randeep Singh Surjewala and several MLAs were arrested for pasting ‘PayCM’ posters. They faced minor charges including disfigurement of public property.

The Congress worker – identified as Akshay Kumar from Sindagi – who was assaulted on Saturday was charged with spreading unverified claims against the government, the police said. He was wearing a t-shirt and carrying a flag with the ‘PayCM’ campaign QR code. The incident took place at Gundlupeth in Chamrajnagar.

“Atrocities on our worker who wore a ‘PayCM’ t-shirt are condemnable. Who gave the powers to the police to remove his t-shirt and assault him? Are these police or goons? The police who assaulted should be suspended,” Karnataka Congress said on Twitter with a video of the incident.

The video shows the man being hauled away by policemen who force him to take his t-shirt off while one officer keeps punching him from the back with his knuckles.

According to the police, he was arrested based on a complaint filed by one GS Kiran with the Gundlupet Police yesterday that alleged his ‘PayCM’ t-shirt and flag were “misleading people using popular app PayTM” and had Mr Bommai’s face, defaming him and his position.

Bristling over the ‘PayCM’ campaign, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had last month ordered an investigation, pulled up the state’s intelligence unit and hit out at the Congress, saying the party was involved in multiple scams and has “no moral right to talk about corruption”.



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