Two persons with suspected links to the Popular Front of India were arrested by Karnataka police in connection with the murder of a Bharatiya Janata Party youth wing leader in Dakshina Kannada district which had sparked outrage.
The arrested accused have been identified as Zakir (29) and Mohammed Shafiq (27), both from Bellare in Sullia taluk, where the 32-year-old zilla Bharatiya Yuva Morcha committee member Praveen Nettar was hacked to death by unidentified motor bike-borne assailants on Tuesday night, police said.
"Both are from Bellare, they have got suspected links with PFI - that we have to verify. We had taken them into custody last evening and after inquiry we have arrested them. We will produce them before court and ask for police custody and do further investigation," the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Alok Kumar said.
Speaking to reporters, he said their links with organisations have to be inquired and verified.
"Right now, we are looking into all aspects, we will be looking into involvement of others, motive and other matters," Dakshina Kannada SP Rishikesh Sonawane said, adding that arrests have been made based on the evidence available and current investigation.
He said Zakir already has a case registered against him in Bellare police station in 2020 for an offence under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code. "He is accused in that case."
The killing led to tension and protests at several places in the coastal district on Wednesday with instances of stone-pelting and police lathi-charge.
In Bengaluru, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, if the situation demands, the "Yogi model" government in Uttar Pradesh will be adopted in the southern state too to deal with anti-national and communal elements trying to create unrest.
"For the situation in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi (Adityanath) is the right Chief Minister. Similarly, there are different methods to deal with the situation in Karnataka and all of them are being used. If the situation demands, Yogi model government will come in Karnataka too," Bommai said.
He was responding to a question on demands by a section of BJP and Sangh Parivar supporters, who have turned their angst against the state government accusing it of not standing up to protect the lives of Hindu workers, calling for a "Yogi model" of governance in Karnataka, following the murder.
According to them, the 'Yogi model' refers to strong measures taken by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to control anti-national activities in his state, which include use of bulldozers against such elements and mafia.
In the wake of the murder, Bommai had cancelled events organised today to mark his government's one year, and BJP's three years in office, that included 'Janotsava', a mega rally at Doddaballapur that was scheduled to be attended by BJP national President J P Nadda.
A section of the BJP and Sangh Parivar supporters has turned their angst against the state government accusing it of not standing up to protect the lives of Hindu workers.
There are reports of several Youva Morcha workers and office-bearers in parts of the state of having resigned or threatening to quit in protest against the killing, demanding justice for him, strict action against elements involved in murder of Hindu 'Karyakartas', and protection to their lives.
Responding to a question on such resignations, Bommai said, "The situation is such that they are in anger, we will pacify them, we are confident, they are our 'karyakartas'."
He also said that he has informed the party's central leadership about the developments.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shobha Karandlaje has written a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting that the probe into Nettar's murder be handed over to the National Investigation Agency.
Condemning the murder, Karandlaje, who represents Udupi-Chikkamagaluru parliamentary seat in the Lok Sabha, blamed Muslim fundamentalists and organisations like PFI, SDPI and similar groups for the murder.
Radical outfits trying to disrupt the harmony in the district are behind the murder, the BJP leader claimed.