MANGALURU: Tension continues to simmer in Dakshina Kannada district following three murders in a span of 10 days.
Recognising the gravity of the situation, local police have stepped up their probe into the murder of 23-year-old Mohammed Fazil. However, they are yet to achieve any major breakthrough.
Fazil, a resident of Mangalpete near Surathkal, was hacked to death by a group of men on Thursday, in the same way BJP worker Praveen Nettaru was on Tuesday. Two persons have been arrested in the Nettaru case. Police have also detained 37 for questioning.
A senior police officer said they have received clues in connection with Fazil's case and are suspecting the involvement of a rowdy.
ADGP (law and order) Alok Kumar, who has been camping in Mangaluru since tension broke out following the murder of Nettaru, told STOI: "We will arrest the culprits soon. We've received information that a rowdy is involved. The motive will be established once the accused are arrested."
Meanwhile, an uneasy calm continued to prevail in several areas of the district, with prohibitory orders and restrictions being imposed even as police made efforts to ensure peace between the two communities.
The Muslim Central Committee of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, which has control over 1,000 mosques, boycotted the district peace committee meeting held at the deputy commissioner's office. BM Mumtaz Ali, vice-president of Muslim Central Committee, said they did so because chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, who had visited Nettaru's house, did not meet the families of Masood B, who was assaulted on July 19, and Fazil. "Why is one youth being treated differently to the other two? Also, only one case has been handed over to the NIA (National Investigation Agency)," he said.
Compensation for kin
The committee has announced a compensation of Rs 30 lakh each to the kin of Masood and Fazil.
Members of Samarasya Mangaluru, a social organisation, alleged that the district administration and police did not take precautionary measures after the murder of Masood, who was killed at Kalanja village in Bellare of Sullia taluk on July 19. "Had they taken the murder seriously, Nettaru and Fazil would not have lost their lives," said Mohammed Kunjathbail, convener of the Samarasya.
Meanwhile, Mangaluru City North MLA Y Bharath Shetty warned of a protest if police harass BJP workers in connection with the murders of Fazil and Masood. The BJP leader said a dharna will be held in front of the Mangaluru police commissioner's office if cops enter the homes of party workers and harass the innocent.
CM, HM won't resign over murders: KSE
In the backdrop of serial murders in Dakshina Kannada, former minister and senior BJP MLA KS Eshwarappa on Saturday ruled out resignation of chief minister Basavaraj Bommai and home minister Araga Jnanendra. He claimed the youth wing leaders, who had resigned in protest against BJP worker Praveen Nettaru's murder, had withdrawn it. "Youths in the BJP should fight against rivals, not their own party leaders," Eshwarappa said, slamming Siddaramaiah for alleging that the murders were the result of internal clashes in the RSS. "Siddaramaiah should go to an RSS branch to see what the Sangh has done for society," he said.