In Bajrang Dal Man’s Murder, 6 Arrested, All Have Criminal Record: Police

Bengaluru: Six persons have been arrested for the murder of 25-year-old Harsha, a member of the right-wing Bajrang Dal, which set off a huge row in Karnataka. The police said all of them have criminal record. More than 12 people were detained for questioning.

The police said of the arrested men, three had committed the murder. All are residents of Shivamogga, and aged between 20 and 22 years. “They all have a criminal past. Investigation is underway,” added Superintendent of Police Laxmi Prasad. The motive, however, is not yet known.

Curfew has been extended till Friday morning in Shivamogga, where violence erupted on Monday during the funeral procession of Harsha. Around 5,000 people attended the procession that ended in arson, stone pelting and lathicharge by the police.

Harsha — who was stabbed on Sunday night by a group of men who drove up in a car — was being watched, and he had received threat calls, sources said. His sister Ashwini, however, said he had not communicated any of it to his family.

The Karnataka government had ruled out possibilities of the murder being linked to the row over hijab, a minister today said “all angles including the hijab row” will be investigated.

“Organisations behind the hijab row are also under the scanner, their role is also being looked at. Legal action will be taken against those who engaged in stone pelting yesterday,” said state Home Minister Araga Dnyanendra.

The Karnataka government has blamed the local administration for the decision to allow the funeral procession.

Several BJP leaders — including state minister KS Eshwarappa and Union Minister of state Shobha Karandlaje — have alleged a conspiracy behind the murder and demanded an investigation by the National Investigation Agency.

On Monday, Mr Eshwarappa blamed the murder on “Muslim goons” and accused Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar of instigating it with comments he made at the height of the hijab protests.

BJP National General Secretary BL Santosh alleged that Harsha was killed by “jihadi fundamentalists” for his opposition to hijab at educational institutions.

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