Two more persons were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Bajrang Dal member Harsha in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district, ANI reported, citing state Home Minister Araga Jnaendra. So far, eight people have been arrested in the case.
Jnanendra said that an inquiry is underway to look into all the angles in the case. “Senior officers, including two additional directors general of police and the police force, are doing an investigation,” Jnanendra said, according to ANI.
Until Tuesday, six persons were arrested and 12 were being questioned in connection to the case. The police had identified the six accused persons as Mohammed Kashif, Sayed Nadeem, Afsifullah Khan, Rehan Sharef, Nihan, and Abdul Afnan. All of them are from Shivamogga and aged between 20 and 22, except Kashif who is 32.
Harsha was 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 and threw stones at the homes of Muslims and put their vehicles on fire.
The police said that there were two pending cases against Harsha – one pertaining to rioting and the other related to hurting religious sentiments.
On Tuesday, Jnanendra said that a background check of all the accused persons was being done by the police. He claimed that all of them have a “long criminal past”, according to PTI.
“I have written to the Director General of Police Praveen Sood to know the reason behind the anti-social elements growing in Shimvamogga,” he said, adding that the district was turning into a “breeding ground” for criminals across Karnataka.
The home minister also ordered an inquiry against the policemen posted in two police stations in this district headquarters town.
“We need to ascertain how many police officers and personnel were there in these two police stations in the past five years,” he said. “And how they monitored these accused, who have a huge criminal past.”
Jnanendra said the role of organisations such as the Popular Front of India, Social Democratic Party of India and the Campus Front of India was also being looked into.