KASARGOD: The special police team investigating the murder of Riyas Moulavi, the 34-year-old muezzin and madrasa teacher in Kasargod last week is suspecting that a speech delivered by Dakshina Kannada BJP MP Nalin Kumar Kateel at the inauguration of a kabadi tournament could have instigated the crime.
Crime Branch superintendent of police A Srinivas, who is heading the special team, said police have called for recording of the event from the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the trade union of the RSS, which organised the tournament. Kateel is in-charge of the BJP unit in Kerala.
Kasargod MLA N A Nellikkunnu said Kateel's speech on March 18 called on the audience not to forget the killing of Suhas. "I have not heard the audio, but that's what he reportedly said at the event," he said. Police have arrested three persons, suspected to be BJP workers, in connection with the murder of Riyas.
However, the BMS has rejected the allegation. "The tournament was a success and the BMS platform cannot be used for spreading hate," said K A Srinivasan, district secretary of the BMS. "The IUML is making these allegations to consolidate its voters. It knows it cannot attract voters any other way," he said.
The tournament was organised on March 18 in memory of BMS district leader P Suhas, who was stabbed to death on April 17, 2008. Suhas was one of the four persons killed in what is suspected to be communally inspired revenge killings in March and April of 2008. Police had arrested four suspected NDF workers in connection with Suhas's murder and a total of 15 persons for the four killings.
On March 18, police said the three accused in Riyas's killing, allegedly stole the motorcyle of a spectator at Thalipadappu in town and drove to Meepugiri in Madhur panchayat where a badminton tournament was on. They picked up a fight with the spectators and even brandished a sword.
Later, on March 20, the gang entered the compound of Muhayuddin Juma Masjid in Choori and killed Riyas. Police sources said they had got a seven-minute CD from a local TV channel which broadcast the event, but it did not have the full picture. Srinivas said the videographers hired by the BMS also did not record the full event.