A killing and a cleansing ritual: Stray incidents that marred poll victory celebrations in Karnataka

Congress workers clean up a stretch of road in Mysuru using water and cow dung saying Modi had desecrated the Dassara route by taking out a roadshow.

ByBellie Thomas

Published May 16, 2023 | 11:22 AMUpdatedMay 16, 2023 | 11:22 AM

Stretch of Sayyaji Rao Road getting cleaned in Mysuru's KR Circle

A 56-year-old man was hacked to death on the outskirts of D Hosahalli near Hoskote by his nephew — supporters of rival parties.

While the killing was allegedly over a property dispute, the incident happened when the the accused was celebrating the Congress victory.

In another instance, the police arrested a 23-year-old man, who brandished a sword while celebrating the victory of the BJP candidate in Bijapur City.

In yet another election-related incident, Congress workers cleaned up the Mysuru Dassara stretch, claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had desecrated the entire stretch by carrying out a roadshow. The jubilant workers said Modi’s act had invited the wrath of Goddess Chamundeshwari.

Related: Modi, Shah campaigned in 47 segments, BJP won only 15

Murder over property

Tension gripped D Hosahalli on Saturday, 13 May, night — the day on which Karnataka Assembly poll results were announced —  after a 56-year-old  Krishnappa was hacked to death by his relative over an alleged property dispute.

The crime was committed during poll-related celebrations. Krishnappa’s wife Gangamma and their son sustained grievous injuries while trying to prevent the attack. They are stated to be out of danger.

The Hosakote police arrested Aditya, 21, Krishnappa’s nephew. A search has been launched for his father, Ganesh, who was also reportedly involved in the scuffle.

The police said a property dispute put brothers Krishnappa and Ganesh at loggerheads. On Saturday night, Aditya and his friends were celebrating the victory of a Congress candidate and bursting crackers in front of Krishnappa’s house, a BJP worker.

Also read: Big Congress win busts BJP electoral prowess myths

Krishnappa objected to the celebration and abused Aditya, the police said, adding that it led to a heated argument. An enraged Aditya picked up an axe and attached Krishnappa, and his wife and son, who rushed to his rescue.

Neighbours and passersby shifted them to a nearby hospital, where Krishnappa was declared dead on arrival.

As the news spread across the village, some termed it to be a clash between political workers. The police, however, said Krishnappa and Ganesh were locked in a dispute over a property, and the murder was the fallout of sibling rivalry.

A senior police officer told South First that the murder during the election celebration was coincidental.

However, as the murder took a political twist, BJP state president and parliamentarian Nalin Kumar Kateel, former minister KS Eshwarappa, MTB Nagaraj, and MLC YA Narayanaswamy decided to visit Krishnappa’s house to ascertain the facts.

The Bengaluru rural police have deployed additional security personnel to prevent any untoward incidents.

Related: The national implications of the Karnataka election verdict

Victory celebration goes overboard

A 23-year-old man’s victory celebration went overboard when he brandished a sword and cut his finger during a procession in Bijapur.

A video of the incident was widely circulated on social media and the Gandhi Chowk police arrested the man, Mahesh Kumar, from his house.

Kumar was celebrating the victory of the BJP candidate, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, with a sword. The police said he has been booked under the provisions of the Arms Act.

Related: Landslide victory for Congress in Karnataka, BJP decimated

Bid to clean Jumbo Savari route

A group of Congress workers used cow dung water to clean up the entire stretch of the Musuru Dassara procession route, saying Prime Minister Modi had desecrated it by his roadshow during the election campaigns.

The Congress workers “cleaned” the stretch between Sayyaji Rao Road and KR Circle and Visvesvaraya Circle on Sunday, 14 May, saying Modi had desecrated the Jumbo Sabari route meant to carry Goddess Chamundeshwari in a procession during Dassara.

They claimed that the prime minister had invited the wrath of Goddess Chamundeshwari by taking out the roadshow,

The Deveraja police rushed to the scene and prevented the party workers, saying no permission has been granted for the cleansing ritual.

Sources told South First that the initial plan of the Congress workers was to take out the BJP’s funeral procession to the crematorium.

However, a few party seniors stepped in and prevented the funeral procession, saying it would be below the political standards of the Congress. The police managed to disperse the workers after convincing them of the need for obtaining prior permission.

Soon after, the Mysuru administration banned all such activities in and around KR Circle.

Related: Most Congress-JD(S) turncoats of 2019 lose Karnataka election

Ambedkar statue desecrated 

Residents of the Yenagunte village near Hosakote staged a protest on Monday, 15 May, after a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar was allegedly desecrated the previous night.

The incident came to light on Monday morning when passersby noticed that someone had lit a fire at the foot of the statue and the smoke had blackened a part of it.

The agitated villagers blocked the road with a burning tyre and demanded the immediate arrest of the miscreants.

The Sulibele police pacified the protestors, assuring necessary action. The police have initiated a probe to identify the accused, and have also deployed additional security personnel to maintain peace.

Meanwhile, in Belagavi district’s Tilakwadi, the police registered an FIR against unidentified people under IPC Section 153 after a video went viral showing a group of people shouting pro-Pakistan slogans.

BJO workers staged a protest in front of the Tilakwadi police station demanding the arrest of the accused.

However, a Congress leader clarified that some miscreants had doctored the video and asserted that none of his party workers would engage in such anti-national acts. The police are investigating.