Beef row: BJP leader arrested for threatening to behead CM Siddaramaiah, party distances itself
SN Channabasappa, 55, was arrested on a police complaint filed by a Congress worker named Kashi under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, detering public servant from discharge of his duty, and criminal intimidation, Shivamogga Superintendent of Police Ravi D Channannavar told IANS.
Shivamogga is 260 km from Bengaluru in the state's central Malnad region.
"We will produce him in a local court on Wednesday for police custody and interrogation and action after viewing and listening to a video in which his brief speech was recorded," Channannavar said.
Addressing about 30 cadres at a protest meeting organised by the party's state unit on Monday against Siddaramaiah who claimed that he would beef "anytime and anywhere" and nobody could stop him, accused Channabasappa said the chief minister would be "beheaded" if he ate beef at Gopi Circle in Shivamogga.
"Siddaramaiah is behaving like a dictator. He has stated he would eat beef if he chooses to do so and nobody could stop him. Let him eat beef at Gopi Circle in Shivamogga. If he does so, he will be beheaded. We won't think twice about that," Channabassappa said in Kannada in a brief speech.
Party does not own or endorse Channabasappa's statement, it was uncalled for & an irresponsible stmnt: S Prakash,BJP pic.twitter.com/kOdn5UfeNY— ANI (@ANI_news) November 4, 2015
The party's other members also condemned the chief minister's statement.
Accusing Siddaramaiah of behaving arrogantly, the city civic council's former president said that by making such an irresponsible statement, the chief minister hurt the sentiments of Hindus who have all grown up drinking cow's milk.
The BJP's state unit, however, disowned Channabassappa's threat and said it was not responsible for such statements made by an ordinary member.
"We do not endorse such irresponsible statements and will seek clarification from him (Channabasappa)," BJP spokesman S. Prakash told IANS from Bengaluru.
Playing down the threat, Prakash said the accused member was not even an office bearer of the BJP's district unit.