Six persons have been arrested and 12 are being questioned in connection with the alleged murder of Bajrang Dal member Harsha in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district, ANI reported on Tuesday evening, citing the local Superintendent of Police Laxmi Prasad.
The police official identified the six accused as Mohammed Kashif, Sayed Nadeem, Afsifullah Khan, Rehan Sharef, Nihan, Abdul Afnan, PTI reported. All of them live in Shivamogga and are aged between 20 and 22, except Kashif who is 32, Prasad said. He added that there were two pending cases against Harsha – one pertaining to rioting and the other related to hurting religious sentiments.
The Bajrang Dal member was allegedly attacked by unknown persons at Ravi Varma lane in the city’s Bharathi Colony on Sunday night. The next day, violence broke out during his funeral procession in which 20 people were injured.
Mobs of men even attacked Muslim-dominated localities at multiple places in Shivamogga between Sunday midnight and Monday noon. They threw stones at the homes of Muslims and put their vehicles on fire.
Restrictions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which had been imposed in the district on Monday, have now been extended till Friday morning, Deputy Commissioner of Shivamogga, Selvamani R said, according to ANI.
Schools will remain shut and more than five people will not be allowed to assemble under the prohibitory orders.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka Additional Director General of Police C Pratap Reddy said that incidents of arson and violence took place in the district on Tuesday as well.
“Following the murder of Harsha, there was a very tense situation in the city and certain surrounding areas,” he said. “Additional forces were rushed to Shivamogga and lot of arrangements were made by the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police to ensure that the fallout of the murder does not spread further.”
Reddy said that the police have identified 14 incidents of arson and violence that took place in Shivamogga after Harsha’s murder. He said first information reports have been registered in connection with three these incidents.
Take action against KS Eshwarappa: Siddaramaiah
Meanwhile, the Karnataka unit of Congress has demanded action against state minister KS Eshwarappa alleging that he had taken part in Harsha’s funeral procession. The procession was attended by over 1,000 people despite the prohibitory orders, reported ANI.
Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accused Eshwarappa of violating the prohibitory orders. He alleged that the minister led the funeral procession and instigated the violence.
However, state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra claimed that Eshwarappa did not lead the procession.
“He was in procession as local MLA,” he added. “Action will be taken against whoever damaged property.”
During the funeral procession, protestors had allegedly ransacked shops and hotels at the Azad Nagar and New Thirthahalli localities and vandalised vegetable and fruit stalls. Some demonstrators also set tyres on fire.
The police baton-charged protestors and used tear gas shells to stop the violence. Two photojournalists, a policeman and a woman were among those who sustained injuries.
The police have taken two persons in custody for allegedly setting two autorickshaws and a motorcycle on fire during the violence, ANI quoted Shivamogga district minister-in-charge KC Narayana Gowda as saying.