The death of Paresh Mesta sparked off protests and violence in Uttara Kannada district this week.

Uttara Kannada violence My son not a member of any party says dead teens father
news Violence Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 08:52

Paresh Mesta, the 19-year-old boy whose death sparked protests and violence in Uttara Kannada district, was not a member of any political party, according to his father Kamalakar. Kamalakar’s statement to the Times of India debunks the BJP’s claim that Paresh was a party activist.

Kamalakar however added that the boy was indeed tortured to death, a claim also made by several BJP leaders over the past two days. Forensic experts have however said that the teenager was not tortured.

On Tuesday, thousands of protesters including BJP workers gathered at Sirsi, bringing the town to a standstill in spite of the police enforcing prohibitory orders in the district. Speaking to the media, Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde alleged that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his government were trying to cover-up the cause of Mesta’s death.

“Siddaramaiah has been trying to shut down the murder case of Paresh Mesta, who was brutally murdered in Honnavar. That is why they have produced a report claiming that his death was normal and it was not a murder,” he said.

In response to the questionnaire submitted to the police, forensic experts at Kasturba Medical Hospital in Manipal who conducted the post-mortem said that, "There are no evidences of injuries caused by weapons over the body of the deceased."

A picture of Paresh's dead body, with his blackened face, had been widely circulated on social media. When asked whether the change in colour of the face was due to assault, the expert said that it was only due to putrefaction (process of decay of a body).

BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje took to Twitter to prolong the inquest into the youth’s death by questioning the autopsy conducted by forensic experts in Manipal.

BJP leaders called for a bandh in the district while also submitting a memorandum to the governor to order an NIA probe into the death of Mesta. Meanwhile, State Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy accused the BJP of spreading false propaganda to stir communal passions.

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