MANGALURU: Tension gripped Katipalla after a 28 year-old Bajrang Dal member was hacked to death in broad daylight, near Surathkal in Dakshina Kannada district, on Wednesday.An eyewitness told police that around 1.30pm, Bajrang Dal member Deepak Rao, who was returning home for lunch, was waylaid at Mudaikodi by four youths armed with lethal weapons.
Before Deepak could flee, they attacked him with the weapons and fled in a car. Though Deepak was rushed to a private hospital, he was declared brought dead by doctors.As Deepak’s funeral procession is planned on Thursday, prohibitory orders are in force up to 10 pm in Mangaluru city police commissionerate limits.
As news of Deepak’s murder spread, schools were closed. Sensing trouble, shop owners in Krishnapura and Katipalla downed shutters. Security was beefed up in Katipalla, which has been vulnerable to communal flare-ups. A few miscreants pelted stones at a private bus plying from Surathkal to Soorinje.
Deepak, a resident of third block in Katipalla, was working as mobile currency distributor. The incident took place when he was returning home after submitting the day’s collections to his employer Majeed in Suratkal. Based on a complaint from one Vinod, a case of murder has been registered in Suratkal police station.
A Bajrang Dal youth, Deepak, was ahcked to death in Surathkal on Wednesday. Three teams from Surathkal, Mulki and Moodbidri police stations had chased the assailants fleeing in a car. One of the three teams had succeeded in arresting all the four youths involved in the murder. Sources said the vehicle, owned by one Nafiza, has also been seized by police.
Deepak’s friends told Express that Deepak was involved in a fight with youths from another community over the issue of erecting buntings during Bakrid celebrations. Mangaluru MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and MLC Captain Ganesh demanded that Deepak’s case should be handed over to NIA.
Former district-in-charge Minister C T Ravi accused the Congress government of protecting the vote bank and playing with the lives of innocent people. Since Deepak was the sole breadwinner of his family, government should provide `25 lakh compensation to his family, Ravi said.
ADGP told to oversee situation
Following the murder of a Bajrang Dal activist in Katipalla near Mangaluru on Wednesday, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy has directed an ADGP (law and order) Kamal Panth to visit Suratkal to oversee the situation in the area.
The direction was issued at a meeting attended by the Minister and senior police officers. Reddy also asked for KSRP policemen to be assigned at sensitive areas in the region. He specifically instructed Panth to carry out a thorough investigation of the case and question the accused.