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Karnataka: BJP plans more protests in Uttara Kannada after death of man it says was a Sangh activist

The party will organise a ‘jail bharo’ movement from December 19 against Paresh Mesta’s alleged murder.

The Bharatiya Janata Party will organise a “jail bharo” movement from December 19 in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district in protest against the death of a man last week, after communal clashes. Union minister Anant Kumar Hegde on Thursday alleged that the Congress government was responsible for the death of Paresh Kamalakar Mesta.

Mesta was found dead in a lake in Honnavur town on December 8, days after he went missing following communal tension in the locality. BJP workers claim he was a Sangh Parivar activist, but his family denies it.

“There is Congress-sponsored terrorism everywhere in Karnataka and the state government has foisted cases of attempt to murder against innocent Hindu youth,” Hegde said, according to the Deccan Chronicle. The BJP will also hold a protest rally in the district on December 18.

The Karnataka government has decided to hand over the inquiry into Mesta’s death to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The BJP had demanded an inquiry by the National Investigation Agency.

On Monday, a protest by BJP activists in Kumta town against the alleged murder turned violent, with protestors pelting stones and setting a police officer’s vehicle on fire.

Girl stabbed in Honnavur

A schoolgirl was stabbed with a knife on Thursday in Honnavur, even as the town was returning to normalcy after violent protests this week because of Mesta’s death. The attack prompted authorities to enforce prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, PTI reported.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the attack on the girl had no link to the other violence this week. However, the administration also warned people against listening to or spreading rumours after the incident.

Two masked men allegedly attacked the Class 9 student when she was going to school,The Times of India reported. She was taken to hospital, where she is said to be in stable condition. The assailants fled after stabbing her.

The police said they were investigating the crime.

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