Bengaluru, Jan 04, 2018 : Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy on Thursday accused the BJP of trying to politicise the death of its activist Deepak Rao, while also blaming the saffron party for arriving at conclusions even as the police investigated the case.
"Four persons have been arrested following the killing. Two were held while driving a car, two others were arrested while trying to escape. Two of them are in hospital and two are in police custody. Enquiry is underway to find out whether the accused as well as the deceased had any political affiliation whatsoever," Reddy told reporters after attending a meeting that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah chaired to review the situation.
"Whether or not the killing was the result of a clash between two parties or personal rivalry we will know after the enquiry," he said. "But soon after the incident, the BJP has claimed that Rao was one of their own. That way, they are trying to politicise it. It’s wrong to bring religion into this."
Responding to BJP general secretary C T Ravi’s charge that the Congress government was "indulging in politics over dead bodies," Reddy asked if there were no killings during the BJP’s rule.
The BJP has claimed that radical Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) was behind Rao’s killing and has accused the Congress of tacitly supporting the group.
"Why will the Congress support PFI? In fact, it was the BJP that joined hands with the PFI to defeat the Congress in the last Savanur gram panchayat election," Reddy said. "Six PFI workers and 11 BJP/RSS workers have been killed. The police have already made arrests and chargesheets have been filed," he said.
The police have been asked to ensure law and order in Dakshina Kannada district, Reddy said. "The police transported Rao’s body to his house. The situation is peaceful."
’Let Centre ban PFI, SDPI’
Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy and Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader, who represents the Mangalore Assembly constituency, have dared the BJP-led Centre to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
They were reacting to BJP’s demand that the state government must ban such "jihadi forces," to which the saffron party has attributed the recent killings of Hindu workers.
"The Centre has the authority to impose a ban on PFI," Reddy said. "But shouldn’t the BJP also demand a ban on other organisations that are involved in illegal activities," he asked.
Khader said the Congress did not support the PFI or SDPI as claimed by the BJP. "Let the Centre ban these organisations. Let BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje raise this issue in Parliament," he said. The minister claimed Deepak did not belong to party or organisation.