CBI says Paresh Mesta died due to drowning, oppn parties target BJP

4 October 2022

KARWAR: Paresh Mesta's case is back in news after the CBI concluded that he died due to drowning.

Paresh Mesta, a resident of Tulasinagar in Honnavar went missing on December 6, 2017. His body was found in a nearby lake. Saffron outfits including Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje had alleged that Paresh was murdered by 'Jehadis,' and his body thrown in the lake after the communal clash in Honnavar on December 6.

While the saffron outfits and BJP had taken up the death of Paresh Mesta to attack the then Congress government in the state led by Siddaramaiah, the secular parties are now targeting the BJP for politically using the incident.

The BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders had blamed the Siddaramaiah government. The issue had received political colour and was an issue during the election. The case was handed over to the CBI.

After a detailed probe, the CBI, in a letter to Kamalakar Mesta, father of Paresh, stated that during the investigation, no incrimination evidence has emerged showing the involvement of the accused persons.

“The medico-legal evidenceopinion collected from multiple institutions clearly established the cause of death of Paresh Mesta as anti-mortem drowning. Accordingly, a final report (closure report) is being filed before the jurisdictional court- the Court of Principal Civil Judge (Jr Dn) and JMFC, Honnavar,” the letter dated September 27 states.

Paresh’s father expressed displeasure over the report.

“The evidence have been destroyed after my son’s death. He was murdered and thrown into the lake. On the day he was killed the CCTV Cameras of a local temple and jewelry shops were spoilt. His murder was preplanned. My son knew swimming and so he cannot drown in the pond,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Sri Rama Sene founder Pramod Muthalik has demanded the government reopen the case. “Amit Shah had visited the house of Paresh Mesta. Based on the demand from the people the government had handed over the case to the CBI in 2019 and now it has filed a B report. We do not agree with this report. It was a murder. The then Congress government had destroyed all the evidence.

The central government should reopen the case and completely probe the case again. Sri Rama Sene will take up the fight if the case is not reopened,” Muthalik declared.

Honnavar block Congress president Jagadeep Tengeri has attacked the BJP for trying to politically use the incident.

“BJP had politically used this case. The MLA won the election on this issue. The case was probed by the state police but following demand from the people and elected representatives, the case was handed over to CBI. BJP leaders gave it a communal colour. BJP won the election by making such fake allegations. BJP leaders should seek apology from the people,” he added.

“The BJP had alleged that Mesta was murdered by Muslims and the CBI probe has proved it wrong. The BJP should apologize,” SDPI state president Abdul Majid stated.

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