A 25-year-old youth, who was earlier arrested for posting a threat to Kannada scholar and rationalist K S Bhagwan on social media, is among the two persons arrested by the police in the Dakshina Kannada district in connection with a communally-motivated murder.
Bhuvith Shetty (25) and his associate, Achuta (28), who are both affiliated to the Bajrang Dal, were arrested by the police on Thursday for the November 12 attack on two youths. While one 28-year-old Harish Poojary — who was mistaken to be from the minority community — was killed in the attack, his friend Samiulla was critically injured.
The arrests were made by a special team of the district police. Investigations revealed that Poojary was murdered in a case of mistaken identity while targeting Samiulla, police said. They added that the attackers killed Harish thinking that he was a Muslim as he was accompanying Samiulla at the time of the attack.
The murder occurred against the background of communal tension in the area over the November 10 celebration of the birth anniversary of controversial 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan by the Congress government in Karnataka.
“The accused men came in a blue Maruti Omni van and cordoned off Harish and Samiulla at the Old Gate on the Beltangadi-BC Road near Navoor and attacked them. Samiulla managed to escape, but Harish was not able to. The attackers fled the scene when they saw people coming,” said the police.
According to the police, both Bhuvith and Achuta have a history of criminal cases in Bantwal area of the district.
“There are three more persons involved in the case and we are looking for them,” a police officer said.