By Vincent D’Souza / New Indian Express
MANGALURU: In less than 48 hours after a BJP worker was brutally murdered in Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada, another youth was murdered at Suratkal near Mangaluru on Thursday evening.
The CCTV footage from the spot showed the victim Fazil (23), talking to another person in front of a shop when four masked men, chased him around before attacking him with sharp weapons. Soon he was rushed to a private hospital where he was declared brought dead.
When the incident occurred, the state Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was at Nettaru in Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada and was returning after visiting the family members of the murdered BJP worker Praveen Nettaru. The incident comes at a time when the government was in a fire-fighting mode following outrage from its own cadres over the death of Nettaru.
The motive of the murder was still not clear. While some sources said that Fazil’s murder could be a retaliation to Nettaru’s murder, others dismissed the claim and stated that it might be a result of a love affair. Soon after the incident spread like wildfire, people shut their shops and business establishments in Suratkal and the police beefed up security across the district.
Meanwhile, two persons were arrested in connection with the murder of Nettaru on Thursday. DK Superintendent of Police Rishikesh Sonawane gave the names of the accused as Zakir (29), a resident of Savanoor village and Shafiq (27), a resident of Bellare village in Sullia taluk. Police have gathered CCTV footage near Praveen’s chicken shop in Bellare which shows a person suspiciously moving around. The footage shows the suspect waiting on the roadside on a bike for about 30 minutes and riding towards the chicken shop just before the murder took place.
The arrested duo belonged to villages that are close to the Praveen’s native Nettaru has further deepened the suspicion that the murder could have been carried out to avenge the murder of Masood.
Masood, an 18-year-old from Kasaragod was assaulted by a group of six youths in Bellare on July 19 and he succumbed to injuries a day later in a Mangaluru hospital.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister had to face the wrath of locals as he stepped out after visiting Praveen’s family. The Hindutwa activists shouted slogans seeking justice for Praveen. They also said that if the government was not able to punish the culprits, then they will be forced to take the law into their hands.
Speaking to reporters at Nettaru, Bommai termed Praveen’s murder as a pre-planned and an ‘organised act of terrorism’. “Such incidents are taking place in the region for the last 10 years. We will not just consider this as murder but also an act to destroy the country. The investigation has begun and the culprits might have crossed the state border. Investigations are being carried out from all possible angles. Soon all the culprits will be arrested,” he said.
Further, he added that after the preliminary enquiry, the government will consider handing over the enquiry to NIA for further and detailed enquiry. “We have sought an NIA unit for coastal Karnataka and efforts will be made to get it soon,” he said. To a query, he said at this stage he will not name any organisation but steps to ban PFI have begun.
Rs 50 lakh compensation
Bommai handed over two cheques of Rs 25 lakh each from the government and the party. While consoling his elderly parents and wife Noothana, he said he will not rest until the culprits are arrested. Nettaru’s mother told him that not just her family but of all those murdered in the past should get justice. “No family should suffer like ours. Take strict action against those behind the incident,” she pleaded.
This story first appeared in newindianexpress.com