A 23-year-old youth was hacked to death at a clothing store in the Surathkal region of Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district on Thursday night by a group of four masked men and the murder was captured on CCTV cameras outside and inside the store, police said. Following the murder, the police imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in the Surathkal, Panambur, Mulky and Bajpe police limits for two days till Saturday morning.
The police identified the victim as Mohammed Fazil, 23, a local businessman, and said he was initially attacked outside the Bee Jay’s clothing store while he was chatting with a friend. The gang, which purportedly arrived in a white car, allegedly chased Fazil with machetes on the street outside the textile store and later followed and cornered him when he ran inside the shop to take shelter against the attackers. He was hacked to death even as store workers tried to throw things from a distance at the attackers to stop the attack, police said. The gang allegedly attacked Mohammed Fazil even after he collapsed.
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The motive for the murder is not known but is suspected to be indirectly linked to the murder of a BJP youth worker that occurred in the Sullia region of the district on the evening of July 26.
“At around 8 pm, a 23-year-old youth was attacked with weapons by a group of four or five men. We have gathered some information from an eyewitness who was standing with him when the attack occurred and others at the spot. A case has been registered at the Surathkal police station and we are ascertaining why the murder occurred,” Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashikumar said.
“The Mulky, Panambur, Surathkal and Bajpe police stations are sensitive stations and as a result, we are imposing restrictions under Section 144 for two days till Saturday morning. Liquor stores will be closed in the region,” he added.
The attack at Surathkal occurred even as Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai visited the Dakshina Kannada region to meet the family of the murdered BJP youth worker Praveen Nettaru, in Bellare village, Sullia.
The Dakshina Kannada police on Thursday announced the arrest of two men, Zakir, 29, and Shafiq, 27, who are allegedly linked to the Popular Front of India for Nettaru’s murder. The police are also investigating if it was linked to the murder of an 18-year-old youth, Masood B, on July 19 by persons linked to Hindutva groups following a fight over a trivial issue that occurred a few days earlier.