A day after the gruesome murder of a 23-year-old Muslim man in Surathkal, the Karnataka Police are on their toes in the communally-sensitive Dakshina Kannada district to prevent any untoward incident.
A senior police officer told South First on the condition of anonymity that special investigative teams have been formed to nab the four masked men behind the murder.
He added that security forces have been deployed at all sensitive zones to thwart any untoward incidents, and that the cyber cell has been directed to keep an eagle’s eye on social media and flag messages or posts trying to spread rumours linked to the recent killings.
The murder of 23-year-old Mohammed Fazil on Thursday, 28 July, came as a shocker for the district, which was yet to come to terms with the murder of a BJP youth wing member earlier this week.
Fazil was brutally attacked by four unknown assailants at a busy marketplace in Surathkal at a time when the Dakshina Kannada Police were on their toes and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was visiting the district to pay homage to the slain BJP youth wing member.
Fazil was rushed to a local hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
The entire incident was caught on CCTV. The CCTV footage showed four men wearing monkey caps getting off a white car and attacking Fazil with lethal weapons.
According to the police, Fazil’s assailants also stabbed him several times.
Soon after the murder, the district police imposed Section 144 in the area till 30 July and also prohibited the sale of liquour.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar told reporters, “This area is considered to be highly sensitive. Section 144 has been imposed in four police-station jurisdictions.”
He added: “The motive behind the murder will only be clear after the arrest. Fazil’s murder has no links with the murder of the BJP youth wing member.”
The top cop also requested the public not to fall prey to rumours.
The district administration, meanwhile, directed schools and colleges operating in Surathkal, Mulki, Bajpe, and Panambur in Mangaluru to remain shut on Friday, 29 July.
Third killing in a fortnight
Fazil’s was the third murder within a fortnight in the Dakshina Kannada district.
In the first incident, a 19-year-old Muslim youth named Mohammed Masood was beaten, allegedly by members of the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, on 19 July.
He succumbed to his injuries during treatment on 21 July.
In the second incident, a 26-year-old BJP youth wing member named Praveen Nettaru was hacked to death by three motorcycle-borne criminals on 26 July evening.
His murder led to a widespread protest by members of the BJP in the district against their leaders.
Citing the dissent, Bommai cancelled all events across the state to celebrate one year of his government and declared the formation of a force to especially tackle “anti-national” and “terror” activities.