BJP demands NIA probe into Hindu activist's death

BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje on Saturday demanded a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the death of Hindu activist Paresh Mesta, as the saffron party stepped up its attack on the ruling Congress for "going soft on terror."

Karandlaje said Mesta was "brutally killed by some Muslim goondas who had the tacit support of the police." Mesta was found dead in Honnavar, Uttara Kannada district on Friday, when Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was touring the district. "The case was covered up and his body was dumped in a lake because Siddaramaiah was on a tour there," she said.

"As many as 20 Hindu activists have been killed so far. Siddaramaiah says he's also a Hindu. But, temples are under scrutiny and Hindus are getting killed. How many more Hindu lives must be claimed? The chief minister should answer this."

Honnavar has been tense following violence earlier this week.

Karandlaje also accused the government of not acting against the Popular Front of India (PFI) for having links with ISIS.

Separately, former deputy chief minister R Ashoka accused the government of going soft on terror. "NIA has said ISIS is behind the killing of BJP workers in Karnataka. The Congress is abetting this," he said.

Ashoka said the Home department was dead. "That's because the department is under the control of the Home minister's advisor (retired IPS officer Kempaiah)," he said.

A special investigation team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh has done nothing, Ashoka charged. "The SIT has no clue about Gauri's killers. They are diverting by trying to link it with the case of journalist Ravi Belagere. The two are different cases," he said.

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