Karnataka: Ashraf murder accused sat at RSS leader's press meet

On Saturday, the police had arrested five in connection with the murder of Ashraf.

Mangaluru: The police naming Bajrang Dal leader Bharath as the person behind the murder of SDPI leader Ashraf has kicked up a new controversy as Bharath was seen sitting beside RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat during a press conference recently.

On May 28, Mr Prabhakar Bhat addressed the media in Mangaluru to claim that Yathin was the victim of the attack that took place at Kalladka on May 26 and not accused as it was claimed in the police case.

Top leaders of Sangh Parivar and BJP, including former MLA Padmanabh Kottari, Bajrang Dal state convener Sharan Pumpwell and Shrikar Prabhu were at the press meet. Bharath, said to be the Bajrang Dal co-convener of Puttur, was also sitting along with the leaders in the press conference. The presence of Bharth has raised doubt.

If the Congress and secular outfits have questioned the link between Mr Prabhakar Bhat and Bharath, the BJP claims that Bharath has been wrongly fixed in the case due to pressure from Congress leaders.

On Saturday, the police had arrested five in connection with the murder of Ashraf. Officials had also claimed that the investigation revealed that one Bharath Kumdel and Divyaraj Shetty were the masterminds behind the murder.

On Sunday, photos of Bharath sitting beside Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat at the press conference went viral on social media, suggesting that Bharath is a close associate of Mr Prabhakar Bhat.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister U.T. Khader too raised this issue during a press conference on Sunday. “Bharath was seen along with Prabhakar Bhat in a press conference. His presence with Prabhakar Bhat has raised doubts. There should be a proper investigation into this," Mr Khader said.

DYFI state president Muneer Katipalla too wants a proper investigation. “Bharath's presence along with Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat in a press conference on Kalladka incident has raised doubts. The investigation should not stop at Bharath. Instead, all those who were present at the press conference should be investigated," Mr Katipalla said.

Saffron leaders, however, claim that Bharath has been 'fixed' in the case. “Bharath was present in the press conference. Just because of this, he has been 'fixed' in the case to show that the murder of Ashraf has link with us. Bharath is innocent and has been 'fixed' by the police due to pressure from the ruling party," Bajrang Dal state convener Sharan Pumpwell told Deccan Chronicle.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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