The BJP, on Tuesday, 16 May, alleged that the ‘Talibanisation’ of Karnataka has begun with the Congress emerging victorious in the just-concluded Assembly polls.
BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel made the accusation after visiting the family of a slain party worker, even as the police reiterated that the murder was the fallout of a property dispute the man, Krishnappa, had with his brother, Ganesh.
The police also said that neither the deceased nor the accused were members of any party.
Kateel made the allegation even as the Congress was busy holding parleys in Delhi for choosing its chief minister.
Krishnappa was hacked to death in front of his house on the outskirts of D Hosahalli near Hoskote on Sunday, 14 May, a day after the results of the polls were announced. His wife and son were injured in the attack.
Krishnappa reportedly objected to a jubilant crowd of Congress workers bursting crackers in front of his house. During the melee that ensured, Ganesh’s son, Aditya, hacked his uncle with an axe.
The police arrested Aditya and Ganesh and were searching for a few others.
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‘Making Karnataka a mini-Bihar’
“Talibanisation has begun. Those indulging in anti-national activities are rising and destroying peace and harmony. This is happening because the Congress harboured and promoted these types of people. So, we cannot expect anything better from the Congress,” Kateel told reporters after meeting the bereaved family.
Condemning the incident, Kateel alleged that attempts have been made to make Karnataka a “mini-Bihar”.
“The politics of hatred is on in the state. This sends a message about what will happen to the state if this government continues. This is a sign that ‘jungle raj’ will be established here,” Kateel said.
“We (BJP) will condemn it and will face it. There is no need for our workers to panic. We will face it and fight it and we will give a befitting reply. We will not sit idle,” he said.
“The power struggle is going on. Everyone (top Congress leaders) is in Delhi to decide who should be the next chief minister. Congress workers are continuing their hooliganism in the state,” Kateel said.
He asserted that incidents of violence took place in Yadgir, Shivamogga, Bhatkal and some other parts of the state (after election results were declared).
“It will be good if the Congress understands this. I have told the police officers. You should not keep quiet when such incidents happen. You have to arrest all those who are behind such incidents,” Kateel said.
The police version
Superintendent of Police (SP) Bengaluru District Mallikarjun Baladandi asserted that neither the murdered man nor the accused were party workers. They were voters.
“We have arrested the father-son duo, Ganesh and Aditya, who were involved in the crime. Krishnappa and Ganesh were brothers and were at loggerheads over a property dispute for over many years now,” the SP told South First.
“Both parties were neighbours, and they used to quarrel frequently. While the murder was allegedly over a property dispute, the incident happened when the accused was celebrating the Congress’s victory,
Terming the incident coincidence, the officer said while Krishnappa died, his wife Gangamma and son Babu escaped with grievous injuries.
As the news of the murder spread across the village, some termed it a political clash, which the police have been refuting.
Another senior police officer told South First that the murder during the election celebration was merely coincidental.
Murder over property
Tension gripped D Hosahalli on 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.
Krishnappa objected to the celebration and abused Aditya, the police said, adding that it led to a heated argument.
Enraged after argument
An enraged Aditya picked up an axe and attacked 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 had earlier 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.
(With PTI inputs)