Dakshina Kannada district in-charge Minister Ramanath Rai's comments on RSS strongman Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat has come at a wrong time when Kalladka in Bantwal near Mangaluru witnessed group clash between two communities, last week. The minister had allegedly told Superintendent of Police Bhushan Gulab Rao Borase that Bhat was "not a big leader" and also he could arrest him, has certainly stirred a hornets' nest. So, who's this Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat?
- Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat - known for his high-voltage inflammatory speeches that clearly bordered on provocative and instigating - is the RSS strongman in the region. In many of his speeches, he openly criticised against the two minority communities that had - on many occasions - caused communal tension on the slightest pretext in the region.
- Some call Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat as Bal Thackeray of Mangaluru. One of his speeches at a Hindu Sangama at Gurupur near Mangaluru, a few years ago, was so antagonistic that the Congress leaders in the region had demanded his immediate arrest. A complaint was also lodged against him. However, he was granted anticipatory bail by the court, then.
- For his instigating speeches, Bhat had received a threat call apparently from Dubai. It is said that the caller allegedly threatened to shoot Bhat if the police fail to arrest him. Such was the notoriety of Bhat's speech against a minority community.
- There have been allegations that Bhat's provocative speeches had in fact were responsible for the rising tide of religious bigotry in Dakshina Kannada, which, some years ago, witnessed series communal clashes. Not to mention about attacks on churches and the repercussion of it that changed the way people perceived about Dakshina Kannada district and other coastal towns.
On Monday, Prabhakar Bhat dared Ramanath Rai to show proof to put him behind bars. "Why did he wait for four years to send me to jail. I have not done anything wrong. It is the Congress which is instigating communal clashes in the region," he told reporters.