Two days after a JD(S) leader from Karnatakaâ€™s Mandya region was brutally hacked to death, the Maddur Police have registered an FIR against eight persons in connection with the case. An FIR has been registered at the Mandya Town Police Station under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 146 (rioting), 148 (rioting with a deadly weapon), 341 (wrongful restraint), 307 (attempted murder), 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death), 114 (abatement to an offense) and 149 (unlawful assembly with common intention to commit an offense).
A brick factory owner from Mandya, Abhilash, who was with the deceased leader - Honnalagere Prakash, filed a complaint and identified the assailants. According to Abhilash, his friends Moganna, Vinay Kumar and Prakash got into a car after having lunch at a restaurant in Maddur. At around 4.20 pm, they stopped near a repair shop as one of the carâ€™s doors had developed a scratch.
â€śPrakash was standing outside the car. Moganna was in the driverâ€™s seat. Vinay Kumar and I were sitting on the back seat. At around 4.30 pm, Prasanna, Swamy, Muttesh, Shivaraju, Yogesha, Tamate and Hemanth came on several bikes and parked it near the car. Hemanth got down from the bike and ran towards Prakash from behind and held him. Prasanna and the others began threatening Prakash,â€ť Abhilash alleged.
Abhilash says that Prakash, a local JD(S) leader stood in support of the families of two murder victims. On December 25, 2016, a double murder had rocked Toppanahalli village in Mandyaâ€™s Maddur. Two JD(S) party workers Nandeesh and Mutturaju had been murdered. The Maddur Police had arrested 17 people in connection with the crime including Prasanna, the accused in the murder of Honnalagere Prakash.
The Maddur Police say that 15 of the 17 accused were out on bail, while two others were still imprisoned as undertrials.
â€śPrakash had stood behind the victimsâ€™ families and was supporting them through the trial. Prasanna had been forcing Prakash to withdraw his support as it would be easier to convince Nandeesh and Mutturajuâ€™s families to withdraw the complaint and arrive at a compromise. When they attacked Prakash on December 24, Prasanna threatened to kill him if he did not withdraw his support. Prakash refused and Swamy pulled out a machete and hacked at Prakashâ€™s shoulder,â€ť Abhilash alleged.
Prasanna then allegedly hacked at Prakashâ€™s neck. When Abhilash, Moganna and Vinay Kumar tried to stop them, the assailants allegedly tried to attack them as well. In the meantime, Yogesh, Tamate and Prasanna allegedly pushed Prakash into the carâ€™s back seat and hacked at his back. When passers-by came to their rescue, the assailants allegedly fled the spot.
Moganna, Aabhilah and Vinay Kumar rushed Prakash to Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences, where he succumbed to his injuries.
â€śIt was a revenge killing. In our village, the JD(S) and Congress party workers hate each other. In 2015, the differences were minor. But things got out of hand after the party workers began fighting about which partyâ€™s flex banners would be erected in certain areas and it soon turned into a faction fight. Since Prakashâ€™s death, people in our village are scared to go out of their homes,â€ť Abhilash alleged.
While police confirmed that Prasanna is a Congress worker, they are yet to confirm if the murder is a revenge killing.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has refused to give in to the oppositionâ€™s demands and issue an apology for his â€śkill mercilesslyâ€ť statement.
Kumaraswamy was embroiled in a controversy after a video clip of him asking senior police officials to shoot Prakashâ€™s killers went viral.
In a video that has emerged from the Chief Ministerâ€™s visit to the scene of the crime, HD Kumaraswamy is heard saying on the phone, â€śHe was a good man. I donâ€™t know who killed him and who killed him in this manner. Shoot them(the killers) mercilessly, there would be no issues.â€ť
â€śIt is not a big issue. It is human tendency. In such a situation any human being would react that way. I have already clarified it, that is why I clarified too,â€ť Kumaraswamy said on Wednesday.