Bajrang Dal member killed in Karnataka's Shivamogga; Section 144 imposed
A 26-year-old member of the right-wing outfit Bajrang Dal was stabbed to death in Karnataka's Shivamogga on Sunday night. Tensions prevailed in the area after the incident as protesters pelted stones and vandalized vehicles. Police have launched an investigation into the killing and deployed personnel in sensitive regions. Further, the district administration has restricted public gatherings and ordered schools and colleges to remain shut.
Why does this story matter?
- The incident comes amid heightened tensions across Karnataka over the hijab row—protests by students for and against the wearing of the traditional headscarf in schools and colleges.
- However, the police have clarified that Sunday's incident is not linked to that row.
- Meanwhile, the ruling BJP in the state and opposition leaders have been exchanging blame in the aftermath of the killing.
Attack occurred around 10 pm on Sunday
Harsha, a resident of Seegehatti in Shivamogga, was attacked by a group of unknown people in Bharati Colony around 10 pm. He was rushed to the McGann Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. The state's home minister Araga Jnanendra met the victim's family members at the hospital on Monday morning and promised swift action against the attackers.
Gatherings banned in the area
On Sunday, police officials, equipped with riot control gear, marched in the neighborhood to prevent an escalation over the incident. Schools and colleges will be shut for at least two days. Shivamogga Deputy Commissioner Selvamani R said that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been imposed in the area, meaning that large gatherings have been banned.
Karnataka's politics further heats up
Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa accused Congress leader DK Shivakumar of instigating the killing. "He (Harsha) was a very good worker...Last night, Muslim goons murdered him. Recently, DK Shivakumar claimed that the national flag was replaced with saffron flag, and around 50 lakh saffron shawls was ordered from a factory in Surat for the anti-hijab protest. The goondaism has increased after he made these statements."
Nothing to do with hijab controversy: Police
Police have filed a case at the Doddapete station in connection with the murder. "We have found clues and are close to arresting the accused. This has nothing to do with the hijab controversy. Harsha and the gang of youths knew each other. This seems to be the result of an old rivalry," a police official told NDTV.