Two days after Deepak Rao, a Bajrang Dal activist was hacked to death, protests refuse to die down in Mangaluru. Despite the swift action by the police leading to arrests of four suspects, Pro-Hindu organisations backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have been staging protests in the coastal city. While the BJP has accused the Popular Front of India of the murder, the latter has alleged conspiracy.
Dozens of Bajrang Dal workers blocked roads and staged protests in Mangaluru over Deepak Rao's death. Four people have been arrested in connection with the case and the Karnataka government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the deceased's kin, however, the anger against the government was evident during the protests on Friday. Slogans against Siddaramaiah government's "Anti-Hindu policy" were raised by Bajrang Dal workers. The police arrested protestors after they staged a road roko that led to the disruption of traffic in Mangaluru city.
The BJP in Karnataka is mulling a padayatra from Karwar to Kodagu to highlight what they claim is "systematic targetting of pro-Hindu group workers". While BJP's leaders including MPs like Shobha Karandlaje and Pratap Simha have accused the PFI of murdering Rao, the PFI has cried conspiracy.
"A Congress MLA has said that the accused's kin is members of the BJP. The BJP is communally polarising these matters. They want Hindus to die for their political agenda. BJP and RSS are provoking communal tensions in coastal Karnataka. We suspect that the BJP is behind the murder as a conspiracy to target PFI," said Yasir Hassan, General Secretary of PFI. PFI has sought a special investigation team to carry forward the probe in Rao's murder case.
Local Congress MLA Mohideen Bawa created a stir on Thursday when he alleged that the kin of one of the accused, Pinky Nawaz, were members of the BJP. The claim has been rejected by the saffron party. The police are mum on the accused's affiliations with any organisation.