Thursday, February 29, 2024

BJP youth worker hacked to death in Karnataka: Another Kanahaiya Lal?

Praveen Nattar

Praveen Nettar, who was hacked to death by an unidentified motorbike-borne duo on Tuesday night, had shared a social media post supporting Kanhaiya Lal on June 29. Lal was brutally murdered in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, allegedly for sharing a post supporting Nupur Sharma by two cleaver-wielding men.

Nettar was just about to return home on Tuesday night after closing his shop in Bellare in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada when he was attacked by two men who were on a bike registered in Kerala. He was a Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha (BJYM) member.

In a Facebook post, Praveen defended Kanhaiya Lal and slammed jihadists. He also shared a graphic of Kanhaiya Lal sitting beside a sewing machine with hands folded.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi claimed that there could be a political link to the gruesome murder of the young BJP leader in Karnataka’s Bellare and said that the state government would bring the guilty to justice.

“Initial reports and some media reports indicate at SDPI and PFI links. They are being encouraged in Kerala. In Karnataka, Congress encouraged them. Our government in Karnataka will take action and book the culprits,” Joshi said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the state police are in touch with their Kerala counterparts as the incident took place near the border.

”As the incident took place close to Kerala border, our police are in touch with Kerala Police. Karnataka DGP will speak to his Kerala counterpart, while SP Mangaluru has spoken to SP Kasargod. It looks like a pre-planned incident bearing similarities to other cases,” said the chief minister. 

Meanwhile, thousands of people protested against the murder of Praveen Nettar. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has called for a hartal in Sullia, Kadaba and Puttur taluks, leading to shop owners downing the shutters.

Members of the BJP’s youth wing in many parts of Karnataka have started mass resignations from the outfit, saying that the BJP-led state government had failed to protect the lives of party workers, as claimed by NDTV. Visuals of protesters surrounding state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel’s car and heckling him have gone viral.  

The murder has sparked protests in Bellare and Sullia, with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad calling for a bandh. This morning, hundreds joined in as his body was taken to his home.

District police chief Rushikesh Sonanay has said restrictions on public gathering have been imposed due to tension in the area. “Three assailants had come on a bike. We have information that the bike had a Kerala registration number. We are scanning CCTV footage for clues,” he said. 

Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said the crime spot is close to the Kerala border and police are in touch with the neighbouring state’s police to make a headway into the probe. “It is natural that there will be anger over losing a young man, but I request people to maintain peace,” the home minister said.

Security has been stepped up in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts to prevent any law and order situation. Most shops and hotes in the area are shut. Some schools have also declared a holiday in view of the tension in the area. 

“PFI should be banned! These anti-national activities create disharmony and communal violence. They have done some direct actions, including murders…A comprehensive law has to prevail on them,” the CM told Times Now. He had previously condemned the ‘barbaric killing’ and dubbed it a ‘pre-planned act’.

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