Working with Kerala police on BJP worker’s murder probe: Karnataka home minister

Published on Jul 27, 2022 01:08 PM IST

BJP Yuva Morcha worker Praveen Nettaru was hacked to death with lethal weapons by unidentified people on a bike in Bellari, Dakshina Kannada

BJP Yuva Morcha worker Praveen Nettaru was murdered on late Tuesday evening. (File image)
BJP Yuva Morcha worker Praveen Nettaru was murdered on late Tuesday evening. (File image)

Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra on Wednesday hinted that the assailants who murdered Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha worker Praveen Nettaru could have come from Kerala. Nettaru was allegedly hacked to death by a group of unidentified persons Bellere in Dakshina Kannada district late on Tuesday night.

The home minister said Karnataka police are in constant touch with their counterparts in Kerala regarding the case. Jnanendra, however, didn’t specify the nature of the investigation being carried out in Kerala.

“The youth (Praveen) was murdered while he was on his way home after closing his shop. A few men who came on a motorcycle attacked him. There were no street lights and it was dark, it is what I am told by the police,” he said, adding that Praveen made a living by running a broiler chicken shop.

“Such incidents are taking place often in coastal Karnataka and these villages are on the Kerala border,” he said while talking about the investigation.

Also Read:Karnataka BJP Yuva Morcha worker Praveen Nettaru hacked to death

“Multiple teams have been formed and they are on the job. We have been in touch with the Kerala police department since last night and investigations are underway in Kerala as well. The chief minister and I had held a meeting and gave instructions to the police and an ADGP rank officer has been dispatched to oversee the situation on the ground,” he added.

The home minister said miscreants operating between the border districts of Kerala and Karnataka are a matter of concern. The government will work with Kerala police in this regard, he added.

When asked about the instances of attack on Hindu right-wing workers in the state, Jnanendra said, “Those who were behind the hijab controversy are getting stronger in coastal Karnataka. Police are keeping track of such people and we will take action when the time comes. Let them have their ideas and register their protest. But resorting to murder and other violent crimes should not take place. We have a firm stand against such people and we will not spare them,” he added.

Following the murder on Tuesday night, there was unrest outside Bellare police station in Sullia taluk after BJP workers staged a protest. They also threatened to take out a procession carrying the body of Praveen via Puttur, Darbe, Savanoor, Kaniyoor and Bellare at 9:30am. However, it was called off after the police intervened. Police security has been stepped up in Puttur, Sullia and Kadaba taluk.

A senior officer in Dakshina Kannada told HT that police suspect that Praveen’s murder is retaliation to another murder that took place in Bellare on July 21. However, he refused to provide further details as the investigation is underway.

Earlier in the day, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai expressed his condolences to the family members of the BJP leader and assured them of speedy justice.

“The barbaric killing of our party activist Praveen Nettaru from Dakshina Kannada district is condemnable. The perpetrators of such a heinous act will be arrested soon and punished under the law. May Praveen’s soul rest in peace. May God bless his family with the strength to bear this pain.” tweeted Bommai.

The murder comes months after another member of the right-wing group was reportedly killed by a gang.

26-year-old Harsha was fatally stabbed on the night of February 20 in Bharti Nagar locality of communally sensitive Shivamogga town. His killing came during a time of heightened communal tension across the state due to a controversy over barring Muslim students from wearing hijab in educational institutions.

Ten people have so far been arrested and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the case. The case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by the state government for further probe.

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    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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