state news

Karnataka: BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje booked for fuelling rumours with ‘jihadi’ angle in Honnavar

The town in Uttara Kannada district has been on the boil since Hindu and Muslim groups clashed on December 6.

The Karnataka Police on Thursday filed a case against Bharatiya Janata Party MP Shobha Karandlaje for a tweet that alleged the role of “jihadis” in what she said was attempted “rape and murder” of a 14-year-old girl in Uttara Kannada’s Honnavar town. The girl had later confessed that fearing a stalker, she had inflicted the wounds on herself to end her life on December 14.

The police booked Karandlaje under Section 153 (promoting enmity between groups) of the Indian Penal Code, The News Minute reported.

In response, she said the Karnataka government was “protecting jihadis”. She said on Twitter that she would “continue [her] fight against jihadi elements” and would not succumb to the government’s pressure.

Uttara Kannada district has been on the boil since Hindu and Muslim groups clashed in Honnavar on December 6. The communal riots worsened after the body of a Hindu youth, Paresh Mesta, was recovered from a pond. The BJP alleged that Muslims had tortured and murdered him. On December 14, the town got tense again after reports that several Muslim men tried to rape and kill a 14-year-old girl, which the police later called rumours.

The girl told the police that a stalker, Ganesh Eshwar Naik from neighbouring Magodu village, had allegedly been harassing her for the past six months, after which she decided to commit suicide.

Hours after the girl was injured, Karandlaje, the state BJP general secretary, tweeted that “jihadis had tried to rape and murder” a schoolgirl. “Why is the government silent about this incident?” the MP from Udupi-Chikmagalur wrote on Twitter.

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