Shadowy outfit cadres killed Hunsur students
Ashoka names KFD but fails to give convincing terror-link evidence
The abduction and murder of two Hunsur students two weeks ago was planned and executed by six activists of the Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), an organisation which has been found to have links with some terror outfits, and may likely be banned by the state’s BJP government.
They attended four KFD meetings at Wilson Garden here in 2009, besides having participated in jail bharo agitations in Mysore after clashes between two communities.
The suspects have been identified as Adil alias Adil Pasha (23), a meat merchant from Shabbir Nagar in Hunsur of Mysore District, Ameen alias Syed Ameen (23), Rehman alias Shabbir (25)—both wood polishers from Rajivnagar, Mysore Town—Kouser alias Mohammad Kouser (26), a building paint contractor from Rajivnagar, Ataulla Khan (23), a mobile phone repairer from Nizam Mohalla, Mysore Town and Saffeer Ahmad alias Saffeer (34) from Rajivnagar.
Alleging that the outfit might have links with terrorist organisations, Ashoka said he would discuss the matter with Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and top police officers on whether the KFD could be banned. “I took personal interest in the case as it was a prestige issue for the government and the police department. The government will set up a special court, request for a special public prosecutor for speedy trail,” Ashoka said.
While providing details about the KFD, police sources said the six arrested are active members of the outfit and operated from its Mysore and Hunsur branches. The KFD, a senior police officer said, works on issues related to minorities and backward communities and several of its activists were allegedly involved in communal riots in Mangalore and Udupi.
On August 15, 2010, some KFD cadres made an attempt to hoist the flag of a neighbouring country. Adil and Ataulla Khan were involved in nearly four cases each of murder and attempt-to-murder. They were in Gulbarga prison for three months and later managed to obtain bail, Ashoka said.
Within hours after Ashoka’s press conference, the Popular Front of India (PFI) said in a statement that it has no links with the six persons. “The PFI strongly condemns such heinous criminal activities and urges police to take stringent action on criminals indulged in such criminal activities regardless whether they belong to any communities/groups. PFI has no connection with any such incidents,” the statement added. Police said the KFD merged with the PFI in 2006 and, at present, there is no organisation by that name.
Replying to a question, Ashoka admitted that there was some negligence during the initial stages of the police investigation. “The failure of the police to act swiftly is almost evident. The government will take suitable action against errant staff,” he said.
Ashoka said the team led by Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Rupak Kumar Datta, guided by Bangalore City Police Commissioner B G Jyothiprakash Mirji, Joint Commissioner (Crime) Alok Kumar and DCP (Crime) D M Krishnam Raju were able to crack the case. The minister declared a cash reward of Rs 2 lakh for the sleuths.
The suspects abducted Sudheendra (21) and Vignesh (20), both residents of Hunsur and BBM students of Mahajana College, on June 8. Sudeendra’s father Mohan Kumar runs a hardware shop while Vignesh’s father Srinath is a small time businessman. The abductors demanded a Rs 5-crore ranson from Mohan Kumar.
They were administered some sedative before they were strangulated and stabbed in their chests. Their bodies were left by the roadside in Chikkaballapur on June 12. The arrests were made on the basis of a tip-off, following which the police intercepted two cars near Bangalore University.