A 47-year-old man who was assaulted by four assailants, apparently in retaliation to the killing of a Hindu activist near here, succumbed to injuries at a hospital here today, police said. Basheer was attacked at Kottara Chowki near here within hours of 28-year-old Deepak Rao, associated with Bajrang Dal and BJP being hacked to death at Katipalla on January 3, triggering tension in the communally-sensitive Dakshina Kannada district. Police said Basheer, who had been battling for life for four days in a private hospital, breathed his last at 8.30 am. All the four persons involved in the murderous assault on Basheer, two from the city and two others from Manjeshwar and Kasaragod in Kerala have been arrested. Basheer’s family members decided not to take out a funeral procession and opted to bury him in the premises of a local mosque. Close relatives were allowed to visit Basheer’s home to view the body and the public to pay last respects during funeral at the mosque, police said. Additional DGP (Law and Order) Kamal Pant visited the hospital where Basheer died. City Police commissioner T R Suresh told reporters that the family had decided not to hold a funeral procession. Police had made all arrangements to maintain law and order, he said.
In a swift action, police had arrested all the four persons allegedly involved in the attack. A series of killings of Hindu activists in Dakshina Kannda has triggered a political slugfest between the ruling Congress and BJP in recent months The BJP has alleged that the Congress government had allowed “jihadi forces” to have a field day and to indulge in “wanton killings” of Hindu workers in pursuance of its “vote-bank politics” and minority appeasement.
According to BJP, the number of Hindutva workers who have fallen to the “murderous agenda of jihadi forces” in the state has risen to 22 so far. The Congress has charged the BJP with polarising the sensitive situation in the region with an aye on the upcoming Assembly polls, which are due early this year.