Amid tensions in the state, opposition parties in Karnataka on Friday, July 29, accused the BJP government of “playing politics” over the murder of three youths, which was refuted by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Over the past nine days, three men were hacked to death in various parts of the district in separate incidents. Former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said that the series of murders in the coastal region have “dented the image of the state”, adding that the ruling party was “carrying out murder politics over the deaths of youths.”
Tension has gripped Dakshina Kannada after BJP Yuva Morcha member Praveen Nettaru was hacked to death by bike-borne assailants on July 26, in Bellare village. Hindutva groups alleged that the murder was in retaliation to the death of a man named Masood in nearby Kalaja village on July 19. In a separate incident, a 24-year-old man named Mohammed Faizal was attacked by an unidentified group of people in Surathkal late on Thursday, July 28.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah suggested that CM Basavaraj Bommai’s earlier remarks — that there will be reactions when the ‘morality’ of society is offended — have resulted in the murders. Meanwhile, Congress leader and former minister UT Khader has demanded that all three murders must be treated with equal seriousness.
CM Bommai clarified that the government has considered all three murder cases seriously and was dealing with the situation. "I will hold a meeting with senior police officers on Friday. There is no clue available with Faizal's murder which took place on Thursday night. We are not considering it as just a murder but it is a preplanned act," CM Bommai said.
JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy chided the Chief Minister, saying that Faizal’s murder took place while Bommai was in Mangaluru. "The CM has escaped from there. He did not show courage in directing police to take ruthless action. What is the reason behind CM Bommai's fears? Is he bound by the directions of invisible hands? Instead of stopping the murders, CM Bommai is taking about bulldozer politics. It is a conspiracy to bring 'jungle raj' in Karnataka," Kumaraswamy stated.
The opposition also hit out at state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, with Siddaramaiah demanding his resignation. “If he is not sacked immediately, there will be a situation where people in the state will not be able to come out of their houses. It is unfortunate that ruling BJP is mired with calculating political gains and losses with the corpses of young men," Siddaramaiah said.
Reacting to the charges of the opposition, CM Bommai said that the charges by the opposition were ridiculous.