BJP demands NIA or CBI probe into mysterious death of youth

BJP demands NIA or CBI probe into mysterious death of youth

Rejecting the ruling Congress party's charge that it was fomenting communal trouble, the BJP today demanded an investigation by the CBI or the NIA into the mysterious death of a young fisherman last week, which has sparked tension in the coastal Uttara Kannada district.

Paresh Kamalakar Mesta (19) had gone missing on December 6. His body was found near a lake in Honnavar in the district on the night of December 8 under mysterious circumstances.

Sirsi and Kumata towns in the district have been hit by violence since then.

Mesta's family and local residents have alleged he was abducted and  killed amid reports the body bore marks of attack by  sharp objects.

Police, however, have rejected the claims, citing a report by doctors, pending a postmortem examination.

The BJP has blamed "jihadi elements" for Mesta's death, while Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has accused the saffron party of using the incident for "political gains".

The party has been saying that nearly 15 activists of the Sangh Parivar and pro-Hindu organisations have been killed in coastal  Karnataka and elsewhere in the past a few months.

Speaking to reporters today, senior BJP leader and Lok Sabha member Shobha Karandlaje accused the Congress party of "shying" away from a National Investigation Agency probe.

Rubbishing state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy's claim that Mesta's death was not mysterious, she said he was ignoring eyewitnesses account that the victim's face was blackened.

"There were injuries on his face. 'Jai Sri Ram' tattooed on his hand was burnt and his private parts were mutilated. How can the death of a 19-year-old breadwinner of a family be treated as an ordinary case? Why is the government shying away from an NIA probe? Let CBI or NIA investigate it," she said.

The BJP leader claimed the involvement of Muslim outfit Popular Front of India in the death of Mesta.

"Investigations have shown the involvement of PFI behind the murder of RSS worker Rudresh (early this year) and other leaders in Karnataka and Kerala. Why is the government soft on PFI and not banning it," she asked.

The PFI had earlier rejected the BJP's charge pinning the blame on it for the killings of Hindu activists.

Karandlaje dismissed Reddy's charges that she and other BJP leaders were responsible for the riot-like situation in the coastal belt.

"We are not giving any inflammatory speeches. All that we want is an NIA probe into the matter," she said.  

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