‘We Will Give a Fitting Reply to Conspiracy behind Murder of Harsha’ – Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader M. B. Puranik during a protest held by VHP and Bajrang Dal near Mallikatta Junction on Wednesday 23 February
Mangaluru: Nearly a dozen persons are in connection with the killing of Harsha (26), a Bajrang Dal activist who was stabbed to death in Shivamogga on Sunday night, the situation in Shivamogga continues to be volatile. Also, a procession organised for Harsha turned violent as incidents of stone-pelting, and torching of vehicles was reported from Shivamogga, forcing the police to use tear gas and lathi charge against the protesters. Meanwhile, the Bajrang Dal has called for a state-wide bandh on February 23 condemning the killing of one of its activists.
Recalling the incident, Harsha, a resident of Seegehalli, was attacked by a group of unknown persons at Bharati Colony on Sunday night, following which he was taken to McGann Hospital where he succumbed to injuries. A 4-5 member group of assailants was suspected to be involved in the killing. On Monday, three persons were injured when miscreants pelted stones during the funeral procession of the deceased Harsha that took place amid tight security, even as several vehicles were torched and damaged while there were reports of some shops being ransacked. According to official sources, there was stone pelting when the body of Harsha was being taken from District McGann Hospital. Police tried to bring the situation under control and made way for the funeral procession to move further and the final rites to take place.
Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappa, who is from the district alleged that “Musalman goondas” were behind Harsha’s murder. Locally here in Mangaluru on Wednesday, 23 February, members of the DK unit of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal held a protest condemning the killing of Bajrang Dal member Harsha in Shivamogga, near Mallikatta junction in the City. Addressing the protest, VHP leader M B Puranik said, “Harsha, a young man, was not a troublemaker, but was a strong believer of Hindu faith. His unfortunate death is an irreparable loss to the Hindu community. The way the situation is prevailing in the state, there is no protection for the Hindu youth. It is also unfortunate that Hindu youths are getting killed in the strong fortress of Hindutva.”
“VHP-Bajrang Dal will not stop here, instead will give a fitting reply to the conspiracy behind the killing of Harsha. Even though a dozen persons in connection with the death of Harsha are arrested, there are many more who are creating disharmony and trying to attack Hindus, which needs to be stopped. It clearly shows that anti-social forces are creating communal unrest. India is the base for Hindutva. In future, if any harm or killing of Hindu youth takes place, we will give a befitting reply. We will not allow any untoward incidents in this regard to carry on and we will be ready with our means to stop such attacks on Hindu youth”, added Puranik.
He further said, “We will keep an eye on the progress of the police investigation and fight with protests until all accused are arrested. Once the accused are arrested they need to be tried in a fast-track court. If anti-social forces keep doing what they are doing, then we won’t be able to tell how the Hindu community is going to react and we won’t be responsible for whatever will get unleashed, because murdering a person on the basis of an ideology and religion won’t be tolerated anymore. We urge the police and other concerned authorities to catch all those who were involved in this brutal murder and give them harsh punishment. Only the death sentence in cases like these can put an end to such crimes in the country. Just because someone has a different ideology, you kill the person. This is the rarest of the rare crime.”
Also speaking at the protest, VHP leader Puneeth Attavar said, “It is saddening to note that even though BJP came to power through support from Hindu representatives, they have failed to protect the lives of Hindu youths. The killing of Harsha is a lesson to us, not to remain quiet, instead retaliate over his death. No one should dare to provoke us. We demand the encounter of Harsha’s murder accused.”. Also speaking, VHP leader Deviprasad Shetty said, ‘The government is mum when Hindu representatives are brutally murdered. Organizations like PFI and SDPI continuously attack Hindus. The government should take steps to ban such organizations.”