Muthalik caught fixing 'riot' deal in sting expose

A ‘Headlines Today’ press release said here on Thursday that it telecast a programme, after a six-week-long joint investigation, where the Sene chief says he would help vandalise the “artist’s” exhibition, at a sensitive locality, dominated by Muslims. The reporter discusses the devious proposal with Muthalik saying he is a painter who wanted to shoot to fame and wealth like M F Husain.

The release added: “The joint investigation exposes how Muthalik and his chief aides are willing to incite a riot for the love of  lucre. As per the proposal discussed first with Muthalik – who in  turn put the reporter in touch with his aides – the Sene would help vandalise the “artist’s” exhibition, at a sensitive locality, dominated by Muslims”.

The investigation also captures how easy it is for the undercover reporters to speak to the jailed trusted lieutenants of Muthalik where the price was fixed. “For this we were told to contact Pramod Muthalik’s trusted lieutenants. One was his deputy, Prasad Attavar, who was on the run from the police and the other, Vasant Kumar Bhavani was the head of the Bangalore unit”.

The release said: “We met Attavar four times...and only once as a free man... Soon after our first meeting he was arrested... but that was no hindrance.  His clout is such that paying the right officials we could still freely meet him inside the jail compound and we could still discuss on how the Ram sene could be hired to stage a riot”. 

The programme shows the undercover reporter saying he will give Rs 15 lakh for vandalising the show for which Attavar replies, he “will have to calculate”.

“Everything will be organised like the Mangalore pub attack”, the reporters are told (Sene had organised an attack on the pub last year where young, unsuspecting girls were assaulted and dragged out for what the brigade called “indecent behaviour’’).

“There was further evidence of the Sene's preparedness and calculated approach to protests and destructive violence. While discussing the aftermath of the attacks, when the ‘artist’ offered to not file cases against the Sene, Bhavani turned the suggestion down. If cases weren't filed against the attackers, people would suspect that the attack had been pre-engineered. They were prepared to deal with such conditions”, the release added.

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