A BJP youth wing leader was brutally hacked to death in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka and the protests that erupted after the murder had prompted the local government to impose a curfew under section 144 to curb the unrest. The slain leader was a prominent face in the state's BJP unit and several political leaders including the Chief Minister have condemned the incident, besides paying tribute to him.
According to reports, Praveen Nettaru was serving as the district secretary of the BJP Yuva Morcha in the Dakshina Kannada district. Besides politics, Nettaru was running a poultry shop near the Bellare area and in the evening hours of Tuesday - July 26, he was brutally attacked and hacked to death by unknown persons. Nettaru was attacked when he was returning home after closing his poultry shop.
It has been reported that the assailants have come on bikes and attacked him with a machete and fled the spot. After the incident, hundreds of police officers were deployed in Bellare and additional forces, that were brought from Mangalore and Udupi, have been stationed around Bellare in the midst of the protests. The body of Nettaru was taken to his residence in Sullia in the Dakshina Kannada district and several BJP workers and members of different Hindu organizations participated in the procession.
The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has given a call for a strike in Kadaba, Suliya, and Puttur taluks of the district while the BJP workers have been protesting against the murder and as the protests escalated, the local administration has imposed a curfew under section 144 in the concerned areas. Several right-wing groups have accused the Popular Front of India and the Social Democratic Party of India of the murder. The BJP workers held roadblocks and raised slogans demanding justice for the deceased leader.
District Superintendent of Police Rushikesh Sonanay has said that five special police teams have been formed to locate the accused. Of these five teams, three teams have been deployed to Kerala, Madikeri, and Hassan in Karnataka respectively. The police have further said that they are hunting for evidence and CCTV footage. Sonanay added that the borders are tightened and outlined the claim of the locals that the BJP leader was killed in retaliation to the murder of Muslim youth in Bellare.
The BJP-ruling Karnataka's Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had grieved over the killing of Praveen Nettaru and he assured that the accused would be arrested soon. The Chief Minister took to Twitter and wrote, "I condemn the barbaric killing of party activist Praveen Nettaru from Sullia, Dakshina Kannada. The perpetrators of such a heinous act will be arrested soon and punished under the law. May Praveen's soul rest in peace."
Karnataka's Opposition leader and former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah tweeted, "I condemn the murder of Bajrang Dal leader Praveen Nettaru in Dakshina Kannada. Police should immediately arrest the murderers & prevent unrest in the region. Police should take action against the perpetrators without any biases."
Karnataka | BJP Yuva Morcha worker Praveen Nettaru hacked to death with lethal weapons by unidentified people on a bike in Bellare, Dakshina Kannada. Further details awaited. pic.twitter.com/98koHUdGxV— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2022