6 held for Bajrang Dal member’s murder; curfew extended in Shivamogga

All the six men have criminal background while three of them have murder cases registered against them

Harsha was stabbed to death on Sunday night at Bharathi Nagar in the city by a group of men, who had arrived in a car. Pic: PTI

The Karnataka police have so far arrested six people in connection with the murder of a young Bajrang Dal activist in Shivamogga district on Sunday night (February 20). The police have detained 12 persons so far.

All the six men hail from Shivamogga and have criminal background while three of them have murder cases registered against them. The police are yet to find out the motive behind the act. They are in the 20 to 22 years age group.

Tension continues on the streets of Shivamogga where curfew has been extended till February 25. Following the incident, the city witnessed violence, arson, stone-pelting and damage to the properties during the funeral procession on Monday that left at least three persons, including a photo journalist and a policewoman, injured. Several two-wheelers were either damaged or torched.

Police tried to bring the situation under control by firing in the air and lathi charge to disperse the crowd, and made way for the funeral procession to move further and the final rites to take place.

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Harsha’s sister Ashwini sought justice for her brother. “I demand justice. Nobody knows why he was killed. I trust our justice system. My brothers (Bajrang Dal members) will give me justice,” she said.

Harsha was stabbed to death on Sunday night at Bharathi Nagar in the city allegedly by a group of men, who had arrived in a car. Police had earlier suspected the involvement of seven people in the murder, but now say the six men held were responsible for the act.

Police personnel have been deployed at every nook and corner of the city. The district authorities have appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm.

A few BJP leaders including Karnataka Minister K S Eshwarappa and Union Minister of state Shobha Karandlaje claimed a conspiracy behind Harsha’s murder, and demanded NIA probe into it.

Eshwarappa, who is from the district alleged that “Musalman goondas” are behind Harsha’s murder.

BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) B L Santosh alleged that Harsha was killed by jihadi fundamentalists for his opposition to Hijab at educational institutions.

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