The cracking of a murder mystery by the Karnataka Police after a six-month long investigation has come as a major disappointment for a particular group in the state – the BJP leaders. For the past few months, top BJP leaders of the state have been hurling wild allegations and making provocative statements following the murder of Karthik Raj, a BJP worker’s son at Konaje in Mangaluru. On Saturday, Mangalore city Police Commissioner Chandra Sekhar called a press conference to announce that they have finally cracked the case. As it turned out, the mystery was a family affair. His younger sister Kasvyashree had got two of her friends to murder him over a family dispute. There was no political or communal angle to the murder, as was alleged by the BJP leaders.
According to the police, she had offered a sum of Rs.5 lakhs to Gautham to murder her brother. Gautam with his brother Preetham attacked the deceased using an iron rod on October 22, 2016 in Mangaluru. Karthik Raj succumbed to his injuries on the next day.
Though police had remained clueless about the murder initially, BJP leaders had raised the pitch, claiming it to be a political murder. Party workers had staged protests in front of the police station demanding action.
Top leaders unleashed provocative comments, aimed at vitiating the situation. The most outrageous of these comments was made by BJP MP Karnataka Nalin Kumar Kateel, who said that BJP workers were capable of ‘setting the district on fire’. Kateel had said – “We are telling you today. If you can’t protect the people and nab the culprits in the next ten days, it is possible for us to set fire to Dakshina Kannada district.” He also said that the local police were acting on the orders given by a local Minister and were delaying the arrest of the accused. He even went on to allege that the murder was an act by some terrorist groups in Kerala.
“Terrorists from Kerala are carrying out such crimes. As this is a border area, it is easy for them to sneak in and commit such heinous acts. The MLAs from this regions are directly responsible for all the criminal activities that happen here,” said Kateel.
BJP State President and former Karnataka Chief Minister also echoed similar allegations – “The killing of Karthik Raj at Asaigoli near Konaje, Mangaluru just because he believed in Hindutva happens to be a political murder committed by Jihadist forces. How many more Hindu activists have to lay down their lives in this way before you can take effective steps?” He also visited the victim’s family and accused the Congress party for the murder in one of his tweets.
Yeddyurappa observed that like in previous cases of murder of BJP workers, a sword was used in the murder of Karthik Raj and miscreants were riding a two-wheeler. “For the specific reason of camouflage themselves, the culprits had covered their faces with helmet and clothes. The murder of Hindu activist, Rudresh, had happened exactly in similar fashion,” he recollected.
CT Ravi who is the General Secretary of BJP Karnataka and MLA from Chikkamagaluru also emphasised on the “Hindu Activist” angle and wanted the Home Minister to be sacked.
All of these allegations have been proven to be totally baseless, with the arrest of the victim’s own sister and her accomplices. The question is whether these leaders will ever be held accountable for constantly making such wild statements, which could even have fuelled violence in the highly sensitive areas of Mangalore.