Harsha, a Bajrang Dal member, was discovered dead in the Shivamogga area of Karnataka, according to sources. The deceased, a tailor by trade, was from the Seegehatti region of Shivamogga district, around 270 kilometres from Bengaluru, the state capital. Following the news of his death emerging, many cars were set on fire.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister, as per ANI, said “I condemn this incident. It took place in the district from where the home minister & CM come. The culprit should be hanged. I demand the state home minister’s resignation.”
Bommai, while speaking to reporters, had mentioned “Harsha was stabbed to death yesterday. Few leads have been gathered in the incident during the investigation which started last night.”
One Harsha was stabbed to death yesterday. Few leads have been gathered in the incident during the investigation which started last night: Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai on the ‘murder’ of a Bajrang Dal activist in Shivamogga pic.twitter.com/ZtYllMHvH7
— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2022
KS Eshwarappa, a Karnataka minister who recently sparked controversy by announcing that a saffron flag will be raised at the Red Fort, said he was shocked and disturbed by the ‘murder’ of the Bajrang Dal member. “He was a very good worker. He was a young man who was an honest. Last night, Muslim goons murdered him. Recently, DK Shivakumar claimed that the national flag was replaced with saffron flag, and around 50 lakh saffron shawls was ordered from a factory in Surat for the anti-hijab protest. The goondaism has increased after he made these statements. We will not allow this goondaism to continue. We will extend all the help that we can to the man’s family,” he said.
After Harsha’s death at 9 p.m. last night, security in Shivamogga has been ramped up due to arson attacks. For two days, schools and universities have been shut. Large gatherings are no longer permitted.
The perpetrators of the murder have yet to be found, according to Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, who also stated that the law and order situation in Shivamogga is under control. “Five people could be involved in the murder of Harsha. The Police have clues. The motive will emerge from the investigation. There is no information about any organisation behind this. As of now, it doesn’t look like there is any connection to the Hijab issue,” he said.
While speaking to NDTV, a police officer working on the case denied that Harsha’s death was related to the hijab controversy. “We have found clues and are close to arresting the accused. This has nothing to do with the hijab controversy. Harsha and the gang of youths knew each other. This seems to be the result of an old rivalry,” the officer said.
The state of Karnataka has been in a tense political environment as a result of the government’s contentious decision of prohibiting Muslim girls from wearing hijab in schools. The Karnataka High Court has also come under fire for its controversial interim ruling prohibiting the wearing of religious items of clothing.