Karnataka police detained right-wing activist Puneeth Kerehalli on Wednesday. He is suspected of killing a livestock seller in the Ramanagara district. Puneeth and four other people were apprehended in Rajasthan and taken into custody by the police. Police claim that Kerehalli is the leader of the right-wing group Rashtra Rakshana Pade (Nation Protection Army). In the past, he has also led campaigns against halal meat and pushed for a ban on Muslim vendors at Hindu temple fairs.
According to authorities, the defendant is a main suspect in the alleged murder of a 39-year-old cattle dealer who was attacked for transporting livestock in the Ramanagara region of Karnataka by a group of cow vigilantes.
After Indrees Paasha’s body was found, Puneeth Kerehalli and his team members fled the scene. The police arrested them on charges of murder. Police said the FIR was filed under sections 302 (murder), 323 (assault) 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
Siddaramaiah, a former chief minister and prominent member of the Congress, has denounced the occurrence and claimed that the killing was the fault of the home minister Araga Jnanendra. He wrote, “The murder of a young man in Sathanur is a testament for @BJP4Karnataka’s goonda politics in the name of protecting religion. Incompetent Home Minister @JnanendraAraga is directly responsible for the death.”