Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday denounced the murder of a Bajrang Dal activist in Suratkal town near Mangaluru. The chief minister congratulated Mangalore City Police for swiftly solving the case and warned general public against communal propoganda.
"I condemn the dastardly act of murdering young Deepak Rao (Bajrang Dal activist), and offer my deepest condolences to the family for their loss. While we know the loss is irreparable, we have announced Rs 10 lakhs as compensation to the family," Karnataka CM said on Thursday.
Siddaramaiah said that he has asked the Mangalore Police Commissioner to ensure fair investigation so that the culprits of Deepak Rao, are punished to the fullest extent of law.
Expressing concern on the increasing tension around Rao's murder, he requested people of Karnataka not to fall prey to propaganda. "My sincere appeal to the citizens of Dakshina Kannada not to be swayed by mischievous propaganda by forces that seek to divide our society on communal lines," he said.
Mangalore police on Wednesday arrested four persons for the alleged murder of a 32-year-old man, whom the opposition BJP claimed to be a "Hindu activist".
"The suspects were arrested when they were trying to escape after attacking the victim - Deepak Rao - at Katipalla in the town," Dakishna Kannada Superintendent of Police SK Reddy told IANS on Wednesday.
Rao, a sales executive with a mobile phones distributor, in Mangaluru, about 350km from the Bengaluru, was riding a motorbike at Katipalla when the accused waylaid and assaulted him with a machete between 1.30-2 pm.
"A bleeding Rao was rushed to a private hospital at Suratkal for emergency treatment, but doctors declared him dead," said Reddy.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner TR Suresh said that the suspects were nabbed after they were chased and intercepted by police which fired at the car in which they were fleeing from the crime spot.
"We recovered the weapon (machete) with which Rao was hacked," added Reddy.
The four arrested were identified as Mulky Naushad, Rizwan, Pinky Nawaz and Nirshan.
Right wing outfit Bajrang Dal also claimed that Rao was one of its members in the coastal district.
The state government also deployed additional police to maintain law and order and ensure peace, as the BJP and Bajrang Dal called for a day-long shutdown in the coastal district on Thursday in protest against the murderous attack on Rao.