Police in Dakshina Kannada district have arrested two activists of the Popular Front of India, a Muslim social organisation, in connection with the stabbing of RSS worker Sharath Madivala (28) in Bantwal town on July 4. Those arrested have been identified as Khaleelullah (30), president of the PFI’s Chamarajanagar unit, and Abdul Shafi (36) of Sajipamannur village in Bantwal region.
While the police have not officially stated the murder motive, senior officials indicated it was to avenge the killing of Ashraf Kalayi (35), a worker of the PFI-affiliated Social Democratic Party of India who was killed by Bajrang Dal activists on June 21. “The motive is not confirmed. We need to carry out more interrogation,” Dakshina Kannada SP Sudheer Kumar Reddy said.
Another five to seven people were involved in the RSS worker’s murder which resulted in violence in Bantwal as Sharath succumbed on July 7 and efforts are on to arrest them, police said.
The BJP is demanding an NIA probe into the RSS worker’s murder and the arrests come even as BJP national president Amit Shah accused the Congress government in Karnataka of appeasement of groups like the SDPI despite their alleged involvement in the murder of nearly 20 right-wing activists since 2013.