Noted actor Prakash Raj, CPI(M) veteran leader Brinda Karat and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy were among 15 personalities who have received a death threat letter, which terms them as “traitors”.
The unsigned letter, addressed to Nijagunananda Swamy, Lingyat seer of Kittur Nishkal Mantapa Mutt in Belagavi, said the seer and his people had “betrayed their own religion” and the people mentioned in the letter should “be prepared for their final journey on January 29, 2020”.
“Nijagunanada Swamiji, you and your people who have betrayed your own religion. Be prepared for your final journey on January 29, 2020. The people listed below will also have to make their final journey. You must prepare them for that,” the letter mentions.
The others mentioned in the threat list include former Bajrang Dal leader Mahindra Kumar, Nijagunananda Swamy, Nidumamidi Swami, Jayaprakasha Swami, actor Chetan Kumar, BT Lalita Nayak, Mahesh Chandra Guru, Professor Bhagwan, former media adviser to the CM Dinesh Ameen Mattu, Chandrashekhar Patil and journalist Agni Sridhar.
JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy called it a conspiracy to kill him “for fighting for the peace of the society”. “I will not stay quiet because of such threats. I know who is behind it. Those belonging to BJP linked organisations speak about terror activities of other community, while there are terrorists within. Very carefully they conduct their activities,” Kumaraswamy was quoted as saying by PTI.
Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai told news agency ANI that HD Kumaraswamy would be provided additional security and an investigation would be carried out.
Meanwhile, actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj, posting the threat letter on Twitter, said it was a “coward group’s letter”. “A coward groups letter threatening that they will eliminate NIJAGUNANANDA SWAMY.. my name in the list too .. Chalo,” he wrote.
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, who has vociferously criticised the BJP government at the Centre over the Citizenship Act and NRC, said, “These cowardly threats will never stop our work. Police should take note and take required action.”
The threat letter was reportedly posted to the Seer’s ashram in Belagavi. Following the letter, the district police have provided security to the mutt.
Nijagunananda Swamy is one of the liberal seers in Karnataka. However, this is not the first time that the seer has received such threats. Two years ago, he had received death threat following which the Belagavi Police provided security to the seer.
(with agency inputs)