Political drama unfolded on Thursday outside the residence of Santosh- a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker who was murdered in Bengaluru. While the BJP has deemed the 28-year-old's death a political murder, the police suspect a dispute over drugs led to Santosh's death.
Santosh was stabbed by a gang of four people on Wednesday night in J C Nagar locality of Bengaluru. While two of the accused were arrested shortly after, all other accused have been identified. A previously injured Santosh was rushed to a private hospital nearby but succumbed to injuries shortly. The BJP was quick to deem it a political murder and alleged that Wasim, one of the accused in the case, assaulted Santosh for putting up saffron flags in the locality. Wasim and Philip- another accused- were arrested on Wednesday night.
"This is a political murder. Another Hindu/BJP activist has been killed in Karnataka taking the number to 24. The accused are members of SDPI and killed Santosh for putting up BJP and Saffron flags in the locality last week. He was organising a Kabbadi match and had put up flags in the playground," said R Ashoka, leader, BJP.
Ashok, along with a host of BJP leaders descended upon Santosh's residence on Thursday. Santosh's body was brought to his residence by police after his family refused to accept his mortal remains. High political drama ensued with the BJP demanding answers from the Home Minister and police commissioner.
After hours of protest by Santosh's mortal remains, his family relented and agreed to perform final rites after Sunil Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru assured to take up their cause with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
While the BJP deemed it a political murder, the police suspect rivalry and dispute over drugs to be the cause of murder. "Two accused have been arrested and the hunt is on for two others. There seems to have been a dispute over various things including ganja. The accused had a tiff with the victim over the sale of ganja recently. Investigations are underway," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Chethan Singh Rathore.
R Ashoka of the BJP alleged that Santosh was killed for opposing the sale of drugs in the locality. The BJP has been continuously attacking the Congress government in Karnataka over alleged murders of Sangh Parivar activists. The BJP has called for a protest in Bengaluru on Friday over Santosh's murder. Santosh's death has come as fresh ammo for the BJP to attack the Congress government ahead of Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018.