Communal tension has been raging in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka over the last three weeks. Adding fuel to the fire are politicians from the state who belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party. BJP MP from Karnataka Shobha Karandlaje on December 14 tweeted that ‘jihadis’ tried to rape and murder a minor girl in Honnavar. She accused the Karnataka govt of silence and inaction.

Investigation into the incident by police subsequently revealed that the girl had inflicted injuries on herself in order to escape her stalker, whose name is Ganesh Ishwar Naik. Alt News spoke to the SP of Uttara Kanada district Vinayak Vasantrao Patil who confirmed that the injuries are self inflicted and that there is no jihadi angle. Patil said, “In her statement, she said she was being harassed by a boy of her own village. Subsequently to escape the harassment and pressure she did it. Her statement was recorded before the judicial magistrate under section 164 of CrPC. Forensic expert had examined the injuries and ruled out any attack with a knife”. Patil added that FIR was registered suo moto against Karandlaje under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with the intent to cause a riot), 153A (promoting enmity between groups) and 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity) of IPC.

Despite the registration of the FIR and subsequent clarification by the police, Karandlaje was undeterred, repeating her lie that the girl had been attacked by ‘jihadis’.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Bagga joined the bandwagon, tweeting in support of Karandlaje and parroting her claim that ‘Jihadis tried to rape and murder a girl’.

Karandlaje is a repeat offender. After Paresh Mesta’s body had been recovered in Honnavar in the beginning of December following communal clashes in the region, the MP from Udupi-Chikmagalur had issued a statement claiming that Mesta had been tortured to death by ‘jihadi elements’. Alt News had reported how Karandlaje tried to fan the flames of communalism in the Mesta incident.


Karnataka goes to the polls in 2018 in an election that could swing the momentum for either of the two main parties in the fray in the run up to the 2019 general elections. A sinister attempt is thus underway by Hindutva forces to disturb the peace in the region. Incidents are given a communal colour and inflammatory statements are made with the intention of inciting prejudice and hate by no less than Members of Parliament like Karandlaje.

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About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.