Miscreants struck when Raju was hooked to newspaper

Miscreants struck when Raju was hooked to newspaper

'BJP worker was oblivious to the happenings around him at that time'

Miscreants struck when Raju was hooked to newspaper

Raju, a BJP worker, was engrossed in reading a newspaper, when death came calling at a tea shop on M G Road near Lal Bahaddur Shastri Circle at Udayagiri, on Sunday evening.

In no time, Raju fell to the ground, after one of the three assailants hacked him with a sharp object, on the left part of his head, above neck region.

This is what Jayakumar, president of Udaygiri Kannada Sangha and a friend of Raju, who had joined him for tea at the shop and an eye-witness in the case, has narrated before the city crime branch (CCB) police personnel, investigating the incident.

Interestingly, Raju was a regular to Sri Vinayaka Tea Stall, only on Sundays. The reason being, another tea shop, near Basappaji Circle on the same road, where Raju was a regular on week days remained closed on Sundays.

Moreover, according to Jayakumar, it was not just the taste for tea, but the newspaper reading habit, that claimed Raju’s life. Raju was an avid reader of a vernacular daily that was available (for free reading) at the tea shop.

On that particular day, a news related to change in colour of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) uniform, the organisation Raju was associated with, had appeared in all newspapers. Raju was voraciously reading the news on a bench kept on the pavement near the shop, oblivious to the happenings around him, when the assailants attacked.

Raju was hooked to the newspaper in such a way that, soon after sipping his cup of tea, Jayakumar told the former, that he was paying the bill. Raju did not respond, while Jayakumar went inside to pay the bill.

Quoting Jayakumar, a police personnel associated with the investigating team, said, he just heard a sound and turned towards Raju, only to see him fall on the ground. No enmity.

As per the information gleaned for now, the investigators rule out any family feud behind the murder. A week before his death, on March 6, a temple of Lord Ganesha had been opened at CITB (now MUDA) Park on the same road, with Raju playing a key role.

For record, the issue of building the temple at the park had remained unsolved for over two decades, following the difference of opinion between leaders belonging to two communities. So, the police had taken Ganesha idol into their custody. The temple is popularly known as ‘Galaate Ganapathi’. Recently, leaders belonging to both communities reached a consensus, facilitating the opening of the temple.

Against mosque

Meanwhile, Raju had earned the wrath of another community for dragging the matter related to the construction of a mosque of Alim Sadiya trust near his house, on the corner of Sixth Main of Kyathamaranahalli, to a local court in the year 2009.

Raju, supported by like-minded leaders, had argued that the site earlier owned by another community person changed hands, with the latter selling it to another, a third party. Though the permission was given for a madrasa, clandestine attempts were being made to convert it into a mosque.

This, despite the court order to maintain status quo till the dispute was solved. A committee comprising leaders from both the communities, including Raju and officials, was formed to settle the dispute, but to no avail.

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