Search continues for assailants of BJP Yuva Morcha worker

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Based on clues about their whereabouts, three teams have proceeded to different parts of the country, says SP

With 10 days into the murder of 32-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha Dakshina Kannada District Committee member Praveen Nettaru, Dakshina Kannada police are yet to catch hold of the assailants.

Based on the clues about their whereabouts, three teams have proceeded to different parts of the country. “We hope to arrest them shortly,” said Superintendent of Police Rishikesh Sonawane. Apart from different units of the State police, personnel from other States and Central investigation agencies had been involved in the search operation, he said.

Three persons reportedly came on a two-wheeler and hacked to death Praveen outside his chicken stall at Bellare on July 26 night. His friend Madhukumar, who was in the shop, saw the assailants leaving the spot just as Praveen collapsed on the ground. He then reported the incident to the police and arranged to shift him to a private hospital in Puttur, where he was declared dead in the early hours of July 27.

The death led to an outpour of emotions by the BJP youth wing and other right-wing activists, who blocked the way of cars of BJP State president and Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel and BJP Ministers who had come to pay respects to Praveen on July 27. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai visited the house of the victim on July 28 and the next day announced the decision to hand over the investigation into the murder to the National Investigation Agency.

The Dakshina Kannada police on July 28 arrested Zakir, 29, and Shafiq, 27, who were stated to be in touch with the assailants. On August 2, the police arrested Saddam, 32, and Haris, 42, who were also accused of conspiring the murder.

Mr. Sonawane said the police had identified the assailants allegedly involved in the murder. “We are making efforts to trace them. We are questioning family members of the alleged assailants and also persons close to the assailants.” Expressing his confidence in the State police catching the assailants, Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) Alok Kumar said, “We cannot tell the time, but the Karnataka police will catch the assailants even as the case will be investigated by the NIA.”

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