On Sunday, a Bajrang Dal activist named Harsha was brutally murdered in Karnataka's Shivamogga. The 26-year-old right-wing supporter was allegedly stabbed to death by an unknown mob late at night on February 20 in the town's Bharathi Colony. Since then, Section 144 has been imposed in the city as the tensions intensify in the district.
The incident comes in during the ongoing Hijab row in the state after six girls were prohibited from attending classes in a Udupi college. Shivamogga has been in the eye of the storm lately, and therefore, the murder has only taken the rife to another terrifying level altogether.
'Justice For Harsha'
Harsha's death has sent shockwaves around the country, and social media became the platform for expressing outrage. On Twitter, netizens expressed anger against the massacre and asked the state government to take appropriate action against the perpetrators.
"What was his mistake? He just protested against Hijab in school, and he was murdered. Harsha was a Bajrang Dal, and now he is more between us. Om Shanti," a user reacted.
Olympian and BJP politician Rajyavardhan Rathore lashed out at those who spew radical ideas in the form of 'freedom of expression'. Things took a communal turn when several netizens openly expressed their hatred towards the Muslims, calling them 'Jihadis' are targeting them. One user even shared the controversial cartoon posted by BJP Gujarat last night that showed the community members being hung.
No Place For 'Goondaism'
The activist's killing started yet another war of words between the opposition and the current Karnataka government. The state's Rural Development Minister, KS Eshwarappa, expressed grief over Harsha's death. He told NDTV, "He (Harsha) was an excellent worker. He was an honest young man."
Further, he openly attacked the Muslims, stating that they were behind his murder. The community also criticised Congress leader DK Shivakumar who claimed that saffron flags replaced the tricolour ones in an anti-Hijab protest in Gujarat. "The goondaism has increased after he made these statements, and we will not allow it to continue," Eshwarappa adds.
Karnataka's home minister, Araga Jnanendra, visited Harsha's family in the hospital where he consoled them. "One Harsha was stabbed to death yesterday; few leads have been gathered in the incident during the investigation which started last night," CM Basavaraj Bommai told ANI.
As of now, the matter is being investigated by the local police. While they have found some clues helping them, an officer stated that the murder is not connected to Hijab row and was an old rivalry that went too far.
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