Murder a fallout of one-upmanship between Congress, BJP

The KR Puram Assembly constituency had become a hotbed of political one-upmanship in recent times, witnessing clashes between workers of the Congress and the BJP.

Wed­n­esday’s grisly murder of Ciripura N Srinivas, a local BJP leader and husband of Devasandra Corporator R Manjula Devi, is said to be a fallout of the political enmity. 

Srinivas, once a close aide of former minister A Krishnappa, had left the Congress to join the BJP in 2008. He then became a loyal supporter of KR Puram MLA N S Nandish Reddy of the BJP. After Reddy lost the 2013 Assembly election to Byrathi Basavaraj of the Congress, clashes between the two parties’ workers escalated, according to top sources in the police. 

After the Congress was elected to power, there was a major reshuffle in the City’s police force. Basavaraj, a close aide of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, reportedly ensured that his relatives and friends were posted at some police stations under the KR Puram sub-division to gain political and business advantage in the constituency. 

Ever since, BJP leaders have been alleging that they do not get a hearing at the police stations. Former deputy chief minister R Ashoka claimed that BJP workers were facing “increasing” hostility. “All police stations in KR Puram sub-division have become political hubs,” he told Deccan Herald. 

Some BJP workers were attacked during the recent inauguration of asphalting work at Cambridge Layout, Anandnagar and surrounding areas. On January 23, Reddy had organised a huge protest on Old Madras Road. He sat on a protest in front of K R Puram police station, demanding action against those who attacked the BJP workers. Srinivas was the “architect” of Reddy’s protest, according to the local police. 

At the recent meeting of the BBMP council, BJP corporators under KR Puram Assembly constituency accused Basavaraj of “interfering” in various BBMP projects. The Congress leaders in Devasandra nursed resentment against Srinivas as he was the de facto corporator. His financial condition had improved after he joined the BJP and his wife was elected the corporator. 

Basavaraj said: “Srinivas was a good friend of mine. He was murdered because of personal enmity and no politics is involved in it.” He conceded he had ensured that some “particular” inspectors were posted, but affirmed he did not ask them to go after his political opponents. 

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