Commenting on Karnataka’s Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s visit to the residence of the murdered Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha leader Praveen Nettaru in Bellare on Thursday evening, former CM HD Kumaraswamy on Friday, 29 July, slammed CM Bommai and said that his visit is an incitement to violence.
In a series of tweets, HD Kumaraswamy said:
“Bommai is the Chief Minister of entire Karnataka. Not just for BJP. Yesterday, when he visited the village of Bellare where Masood and Praveen Nettaru were killed, he divorced from the oath he took on the sacred Constitution.”
While Bommai was in Dakshina Kannada, another Muslim youth, identified as 23-year-old Mohammed Fazil, a resident of Mangalpete, was murdered by a group of masked assailants outside a clothing store. The video of the murder has since gone viral.
This was the third separate murder in the coastal region and has heightened communal tensions in the BJP-ruled Karnataka.
Meanwhile, three days after Praveen Nettaru was killed in Bellare, CM Bommai announced on Friday that the murder case will be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Speaking about the other two murders he said, “For us, the life of every person is important. We treat everyone equally."
Meanwhile, the CM also granted Rs 25 lakh compensation to Praveen’s family on behalf of the state government. However, no compensation has been announced for the other two victims yet.
What Did Kumaraswamy Say?
“Murder is not the answer to murder. Revenge is not the answer to revenge. The Chief Minister's move seems to incite violence. Mr Bommai should have visited the houses of both the murdered youths and sent a strong message to the murderers. He did not do so,” said the angry JDS scion.
Asserting that one cannot determine religion and caste by examining an individual's blood, he questioned, "How can the Chief Minister not know such a simple thing? Another murder took place in Suratkal, while he was in the same district. What greater example of governance failure is needed?”
The former CM also repeated Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s words that “Rajadharma is a principle that one must follow."
He further said:
“Bommai is now chanting ‘Bulldozer’ to cover up his failures. They claim that they need Yogi Adityanath and Uttar Pradesh model. But, this is not good for the country and the state. Imitating UP government is against natural justice and the constitution. This is heights of impunity."
Terming the BJP government in the state to be incompetent, the JDS leader added, "Those who have no respect for the Constitution speak of 'bulldozer' model. He used to be a Janata Parivari. Now, he (CM Basavaraj Bommai) has transformed into Sangh Parivari. All he can do is bring a 'new Mari' (epidemic) to the state in the name of Uttar Pradesh model.
Recollecting the legacy of late CM SR Bommai, father of the incumbent chief minister, Kumaraswamy added, "Senior Bommai was a known follower of MN Roy, and a Janata Parivar loyalist. But, his son is now talking like an anti-constitutional bulldozer."
What Did Bommai Say on Thursday?
Two days after BJP youth leader Praveen Nettaru was killed in Karnataka, two persons – Zakir and Shafique – were arrested in connection with the murder on Thursday.
Reacting to the murder, which elicited widespread outrage in the state from Hindutva organisations, CM Bommai had said, that if need be "we will implement Yogi government model (UP Model) in Karnataka."
According to ADGP (Law and Order) Alok Kumar, Zakir has a criminal case against him and has links with the Popular Front of India (PFI). Shafique, another accused, is also confirmed to have links with Popular Front of India and its political wing SDPI. According to his wife, Shafique is being framed in the case due to his political affiliations.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Bommai, while addressing a press conference in Bengaluru, said that the state government won't allow any "sort of organised crime to disturb the peace and harmony" in the state.
On Friday, he added, "I have spoken to the DG and IG and we are suspecting the murder of Praveen Nettaru to be an organised one. It also involves people from two states (Karnataka and Kerala). I have asked the home department to compile a report and immediately write to the NIA to take over the investigation."
Earlier, he also mentioned that the state had submitted all their reports to the Centre about PFI and that the union government will take a decision soon.