Hours after the Killing, all four suspects – Naushad Ullanje of Mulki, Rizwan, Pinky Nawaz and Nirshan – were taken to police custody.
Days after the mysterious death of Hindu activist Paresh Mesta in Honnavar of Karnataka, Deepak Rao – another activist committed to “Hindutva ideology” and associated with the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Dakshina Kannada district – was hacked to death by a four member gang, who targeted him while he was riding a bike at nearby Katipalla.
Though the political affiliation of the victim was not primarily known, the state BJP wing has confirmed that the deceased – who was reportedly an executive in a mobile SIM cards distribution company – was linked with saffron groups.
According to the police the assailants came in a car and attacked Deepak while he was on the way to his workplace and attacked him with sharp weapons. Following a tip off – hours after the killing – probationary sub-inspector Sheethal Kumar Alaguru jointly with CCB inspector Shantharam and Panambur Police station inspector Rafeeq went on a chase for the suspects who were on the run.
Reportedly, two of the four suspects – Rizwan and Pinky Nawaz – sustained bullet injuries while attempting to flee police custody. According to sources, the police fired two rounds from their service revolver at the speeding car of the suspects and managed to stop them near Mijar in Moodbidri.
All four suspects – Naushad Ullanje of Mulki, Rizwan, Pinky Nawaz and Nirshan – were taken to police custody.
Condemning the attack on the Hindu activist and demanding a NIA probe into the matter, BJP leaders R Ashok and Ashwathnarayana claimed that the ruling Congress leadership in the state has allowed “jihadi forces” to indulge in “wanton killings” of Hindu workers. The saffron party leaders further stated that with Deepak Rao’s murder the number of killings of Hindutva activists has risen to 22.
Karnataka’s RSS spokesperson, Rajesh Padmar, also claimed that the workers associated with the Sangh parivar have been repeatedly targeted in the state – especially in Mangaluru – by Jihadi radical elements.
“If somebody has a problem, they should talk it out and not resort to murders like this,” said Padmar.
Further claiming that Rao was killed only because he was a Hindu, Jagadish Shenova, President, VHP (Mangaluru district) said, “We will protest all over the district if the police do not nab the culprits as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Deepak Rao’s killing triggered tensed situation in Katipalla, Surathkal and other areas – with two more youth being injured in what can be termed as retaliatory attacks carried out to avenge the death of the Hindutva worker.