Karnataka minister CN Ashwath Narayan on Friday said that the state government “will go five steps ahead of Uttar Pradesh” in carrying out encounter killings, NDTV reported.

His comment came in the context of the killing of Praveen Nettaru, a Bharatiya Janata Party youth wing leader, on Tuesday. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, while speaking about the killing on Thursday, had said that the state government will implement the “Yogi model” on law and order if such a situation arises, referring to his Uttar Pradesh counterpart.

Narayan on Friday said that the state government would send out a clear message that Nettaru’s killers would not get any leeway, the Deccan Herald reported.

“The time for encounters has come,” the minister for information technology and higher education told reporters. “We will take strict action so that no such killings happen going forward.”

The term “encounters” is often used to refer to extra-judicial killings. Such killings do not have the sanction of the law as they involve taking the lives of persons accused of crime without giving them a chance to stand trial.

In response to a question about whether Karnataka will emulate Uttar Pradesh, Narayan said that it will go five steps ahead of the northern state. “Karnataka is a progressive state that is a model for other states,” he said. “So, our model will be one that others will emulate.”

After Nettaru’s killing, several Hindutva activists criticised the Karnataka government and accused it of inaction. Several BJP youth wing leaders resigned, saying that the state government had failed to protect the lives of party members.

Commenting on demands from Hindutva activists for stringent action, Bommai had said that there were different methods to deal with the situation in Karnataka, and all of them were being used. “If the situation demands, the Yogi model government will come to Karnataka too,” he had said.

The “Yogi model” that Bommai spoke about appeared to be a reference to stringent measures against those accused of crimes, including the use of bulldozers to demolish their homes.

While there are no provisions under Indian law to demolish the home of anyone accused of a crime, this pattern has been regularly observed across BJP-ruled states. Most persons whose homes have been demolished in this manner have been Muslims.

NIA to investigate youth leader’s killing

Meanwhile, Bommai said on Friday that the National Investigation Agency will take over the inquiry into Nettaru’s killing from the state police, The Indian Express reported.

“The probe is underway,” he said. “It looks like Praveen’s murder was part of an organised crime and have inter-state links.”

On Thursday, the Karnataka Police arrested two persons named Zakir and Shafiq for Nettaru’s murder.

The police suspect that the two arrested men have links with the Popular Front of India. “But we are investigating those links and also their motives,” said Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Alok Kumar.