Dalit man prime accused in Honganuru clash: Cops

Probe reveals three reasons for the clash; 17 arrested

After a detailed probe, the police department has concluded that the Honganuru clash, which erupted after a flexboard of Ambedkar was desecrated, was perpetrated by the vested interests and Kemparaju, a dalit, is the prime accused.

Disclosing this issue to media persons, here, on Tuesday, Superintendent of Police Kuldipkumar R Jain said, “Six out of seven accused, who allegedly insulted Ambedkar’s flex by garlanding it with footwear have been arrested. Kemparaju, president of Ambedkar Association of the village, is found to be the prime accused.”

“Doddarangaiah, Nanjaiah alias Deveragudda Nanjaiah, Mahadeva alias Kunta Mahadeva, Mahadeva alias Pachalike Mahadeva, Chamadasaiah and Kemparaju are the arrested. Other accused are at large and would be arrested soon,” he added.

Jain said that the probe revealed three elements for the clash, that has also been confessed by Kemparaju himself.

Shops
The SP explained that the members of local groups had met six months ago and decided to clear the shops near the bus stand in the village. A notice was issued by the gram panchayat in this regard. But, a few shop owners had approached the court and had brought a stay order.

Kemparaju, his friend Bar Mahesh and others, who did not expect this, were waiting for an incident to happen, when the shops can be destroyed and removed. When Ambedkar Jayanti was celebrated in the village on April 14 and 19, the photos of Kemparaju and his friends were missing in the flexes, which irked Kemparaju.

After this, Kemparaju decided to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti on April 30 in a grand manner and needed more than Rs 1 lakh. But, they were able to collect only Rs 35,000. Kemparaju, who knew it would be an insult if the programme cannot be celebrated in a grand manner, hatched a conspiracy to insult the flex of Ambedkar, so that the function can be cancelled.

He discussed the issue with his friends during the village fair on April 26 and 27. On April 28, he himself tied the flex with footwear, triggering the clash.

Shops torched
Kemparaju has confessed during the probe that he and his friends visited the spot at 3 am and again at 6.30 am. Expecting tension, they utilised the opportunity to get rid of the shops near the bus stand. They allegedly sprinkled diesel on the shops and torched them.

The SP clarified that the department has not succumbed to any political pressure and has conducted the probe in a transparent manner.

“Seventeen people have been arrested in connection with the clash and an FIR is filed against 150 people. There is no need for anxiety as only the guilty are being arrested,” he said. Additional SP Muthuraj M Gowda and DySP Mahantesh Muppinamutt were present.

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