BENGALURU: Rashtriya Hindu Sena chief Pramod Muthalik created a flutter on Sunday when he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot be held responsible for the “death of a dog in Karnataka” while speaking on the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh. But he hastened to add that he did not mean to compare the two.
Muthalik was speaking at an event organised by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti here on Sunday. Rashtriya Hindu Sena is the parent organisation of the right-wing group Sri Rama Sene. Muthalik questioned the outcry over Modi’s lack of response over Gauri’s murder, saying, “What is Modi’s relation with the murder? If a dog dies in Karnataka, is Modi responsible?” However, he later clarified that he was not comparing the two.
Muthalik said there was no relation between Sri Rama Sene and Parshuram Waghmare, who was held in connection with the September 5, 2017 murder of Gauri, and who has reportedly confessed to the crime.
Reacting to a photo of Muthalik with Waghmare which was broadcast by media outlets, Muthalik said a lot of people ask to take pictures with him, and hence the photo does not establish anything. On the outfit’s Facebook page having a fund-raiser for Waghmare’s family, he said the workers had probably taken the step after seeing the condition of Waghmare’s family. “He might even have attended the party’s events, as ours is a mass organisation and many come to these events.”
Muthalik emphasised that the special investigation team (SIT) had not mentioned the organisation’s name even once, and blamed the Congress for spreading such propaganda. “It is very clear the Congress is targeting Hindu organisations. But I do not attach any blame to our state’s police. People should remember that during the time of all four murders (Gauri Lankesh, Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and M M Kalburgi), a Congress government was in power,” he said.
PARTY WORKERS OBJECT TO QUESTIONS
Even as reporters were asking questions to Muthalik and two other party functionaries, party supporters at the venue took objection. This led to Muthalik appealing to workers to address their comments to him and not to reporters.