Five years since the body of a 19-year-old was found after communal riots in Karnataka’s Honnavar town, the Central Investigation Bureau has determined the cause of death as drowning, The News Minute reported.
Paresh Mesta had gone missing on December 6, 2017. His body was recovered from a lake in Honnavur two days later.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which was in Opposition at the time, had alleged that Mesta was tortured and killed by Muslims – a claim opposed by the state police.
On December 12, 2017, a protest organised by the BJP against Mesta’s death had turned violent after demonstrators pelted stones and set a police vehicle on fire. At least seven police personnel were injured in the incident.
A day later, the government, which was led by the Congress, had transferred the case to the Central Investigation Bureau. The agency subsequently had booked five Muslim youths in the case, according to PTI.
On Monday, the Central Investigation Bureau said that there was no evidence to prove that Mesta was murdered.
“During the investigation, no incriminating evidence has emerged showing the involvement of accused persons,” an unidentified CBI officer said, according to The News Minute. “Accordingly, a Final Report [closure report] is being filed before the jurisdictional court.”
An unidentified police officer said that the report was filed before a judicial magistrate in Honnavar, The Indian Express reported. It will be taken up for consideration on November 14, the officer added.
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah said that the report by the Central Investigation Bureau is a slap on the face of the BJP.
“Karnataka BJP took unhealthy and unethical political advantage from the deaths of the innocent youth,” Siddaramaiah wrote in a tweet. “If BJP has any shame left, it should apologise for its slanderous campaign.”