A 28-year-old man was stabbed to death by a group of four people in JC Nagar in north Bengaluru on Wednesday night in an alleged drunken brawl. The victim, Santhosh, was a BJP worker and was reportedly putting up buntings for the BJP’s Parivartana Rally before the brawl broke out. However, the police have confirmed the killing was not politically motivated.
Santhosh was stabbed on his thigh and the police have arrested two men – Wasim and Phillip – in connection with the case. The victim is a resident of Vasanthnagar and is a member of the BJP Yuva Morcha.
It was reported that he was putting up buntings for the BJP’s Parivartana Rally, scheduled to be held in the city on February 4 when the brawl broke out.
Speaking to TNM, Inspector Girish Naik of JC Nagar Police Station said that the murder happened after a drunken brawl between Santhosh and his friends.
"There are four accused in the case – Wasim, Phillip, Umar and Irfan. We arrested Wasim and Phillip last night a few hours after the incident occurred (around 7.45 pm). On interrogating the accused, we received information that the four men were not happy about Santhosh asking them to buy him drinks and smokes. A heated argument broke out and when things escalated, Santhosh got stabbed,” Inspector Girish said.
However, right after the killing, the BJP has claimed that the death was politically motivated.
The police has strongly denied such claims. “There are no political or communal reasons for Santhosh's death. Santhosh and the four men were neighbours, and grew up together," Inspector Girish added.
The BJP’s claim comes in light of communal tensions in several parts of poll-bound Karnataka, especially Dakshina Kannada, where several people have been killed in communal incidents.
Previously, in Uttara Kannada’s Honnavar area, the body of 19-year-old Paresh Mesta was found floating in a lake. The BJP had claimed that he was a party worker, but Paresh’s father had strongly denied these allegations. The BJP had also alleged that his body was disfigured, suggesting he was tortured before his death. Forensic experts who performed his autopsy rubbished these rumours.
Last month, Deepak Rao, a BJP worker, was killed in Dakshina Kannada’s Katipala area, and in retaliation, a Muslim man, Ahmed Basheer, was brutally hacked to death, heightening communal tensions in the area.