There is tension across the coastal region of the state that has seen several murders of a communal nature this year alone.
Communally sensitive Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka is on the edge yet again following the murder of a BJP youth wing member late on Tuesday, 26 July, in Sullia town.
The police have identified the deceased as 32-year-old Praveen Nettaru.
According to the police, three motorcycle-borne assailants hacked Nettaru to death while he was closing his poultry shop.
Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner KV Rajendra said, “We are investigating the case from all possible angles.”
The news of the murder spread like wildfire in the district and a large number of people associated with the national party and other Hindutva groups staged a protest in front of the hospital where Nettaru’s body was kept.
BJP local leaders have decided to take out a procession as Nettaru’s mortal remains are carried from the hospital to his house. The party and other Hindutva groups have also called for a district-wide bandh on Wednesday, 27, July, as a mark of protest.
The Dakshina Kannada Police have called in extra forces and imposed section 144 in Sullia town to thwart any untoward incident.
“I spoke to the family and urged them to take out a peaceful procession,” Deputy Commissioner Rajendra said.
A senior police official said that adequate security measures have been taken to prevent a Shivamogga-like incident in Sullia town. Earlier this year, the funeral procession of a Bajrang Dal activist in Shivamogga turned into a communal clash after miscreants pelted stones.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, condemned the killing and tweeted, “The perpetrators of such heinous acts will be arrested soon and punished under the law. May Praveen’s soul rest in peace, and may God bless his family with the strength to bear this pain. Om Shanthi.”
ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಕನ್ನಡ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ ಸುಳ್ಯದ ನಮ್ಮ ಪಕ್ಷದ ಕಾರ್ಯಕರ್ತ ಪ್ರವೀಣ್ ನೆಟ್ಟಾರು ಅವರ ಬರ್ಬರ ಹತ್ಯೆ ಖಂಡನೀಯ. ಇಂಥ ಹೇಯಕೃತ್ಯ ಎಸಗಿರುವ ದುಷ್ಕರ್ಮಿಗಳನ್ನು ಶೀಘ್ರವಾಗಿ ಬಂಧಿಸಿ ಕಾನೂನಿನ ಅಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಶಿಕ್ಷಿಸಲಾಗುವುದು.
ಪ್ರವೀಣ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಂತಿ ಸಿಗಲಿ, ಈ ನೋವನ್ನು ಭರಿಸುವ ಶಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ದೇವರು ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬಕ್ಕೆ ಕರುಣಿಸಲಿ. ಓಂ ಶಾಂತಿಃ pic.twitter.com/kCk3W6hVc5
— Basavaraj S Bommai (@BSBommai) July 26, 2022
Home minister Araga Jnanendra said, “A team headed by an ADGP rank officer will be investigating Nettaru’s murder. We are taking the help of the Kerala Police to nab his murderers.”
“It is suspected that reactionary forces behind the hijab protests could be involved in the murder,” added Jnanendra.
The coastal areas of Karnataka have in the recent past witnessed several murders of a communal nature.
As recently as 19 July, a 19-year-old Muslim youth, Masood, was allegedly assaulted by members of the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Kelanje two days later.
Police so far have arrested eight persons in connection with his killing.
Earlier this year, in February, a 26-year-old Bajrang Dal activist was stabbed to death in Shivamogga. Six Muslim youths were arrested by the police in connection with the case.