Karnataka: 2 arrested, for BJYM worker's death, linked to PFI
The Karnataka Police arrested two suspects in the killing of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing worker on Thursday. The death of Praveen Nettaru, a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) worker, has sparked protests across the communally sensitive Dakshina Kannada district. The police have alleged that the accused had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI).
- Nettaru was savagely hacked to death in coastal Karnataka on July 26.
- Some right-wing organizations have claimed that his murder was orchestrated by the PFI and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), both Islamic right-wing organizations.
- Members of the BJP's youth wing have begun mass resignations, claiming that the BJP-led state government failed to protect party workers.
Two suspects, Zakir (29) and Mohammed Shafiq (28) have been arrested by the Karnataka Police. They are residents of Savanoor and Bellare districts respectively, and Zakir was earlier named in a 2020 assault case. The Dakshina Kannada district police will be producing them before the court. Security officials have questioned more than 20 suspects, including Zakir and Shafiq.
Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Alok Kumar told The Indian Express that Zakir is linked to PFI. "He is not a registered member but we have received information about his links with PFI activities. We have to now collect evidence," he said.
The Karnataka Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, said on Thursday that the government will implement the 'Yogi model' if needed. "The Yogi model of Uttar Pradesh will come into force in the southern state too to deal with anti-national elements," he said, as per the Times of India. Bommai is scheduled to visit Nettaru's family today, after massive protests against the state BJP government.
According to police, Nettaru, a prominent leader of the BJP's youth wing, was murdered while he was on his way home on a motorcycle after closing his shop. "Three assailants had come on a bike. We've information that the bike had a Kerala registration number. We're scanning CCTV footage for clues," district police said. It has also led to party workers' mass resignations.
As the murderers left Nettaru bleeding on the ground, local residents called the police. He was taken by the police to a hospital, where medics pronounced him dead. The murder led to protests in Bellare and Sullia, and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has called for a bandh. On Wednesday morning, hundreds accompanied his body as it was carried to his house.
#WATCH | Protestors express their anger over the murder of BJP Yuva Morcha worker Praveen Nettaru in Bellare, Dakshina Kannada.— ANI (@ANI) July 27, 2022
The car being jolted by protesters reportedly belongs to Dakshina Kannada MP Nalinkumar Kateel#Karnataka pic.twitter.com/J4HyBZr0br