Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked members of right-wing Hindutva militants not to attack Dalits in the name of cow protection, a member of his own party in Karnataka was allegedly beaten to death by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal members.
The shocking incident took place in Udupi district after alleged goons belonging to VHP and Bajrang Dal found Praveen Poojary transporting two cows in his vehicle.
Udupi SP KP Balakrishna, according to India Today, has confirmed that 17 persons had been arrested for their involvement in the killing of Praveen Poojary.
“They attacked Poojary when he was carrying cows in a vehicle in the Hebri limits of Karkala district, ” he was quoted as saying.
According to media reports, Praveen Poojary and his friend Akshay Devadiga were transporting cows in their tempo, when nearly 20 Bajrang Dal and VHP supporters surrounded the vehicle and attacked the two.
While Poojary succumbed to his injuries, Askhay has been admitted to the government hospital in Brahmavar where this incident took place.
The police has launched a manhunt but the culprits are reported to be absconding.
Not only does the latest incident highlights the involvement of BJP supporters in the alleged cow smuggling, but it also illustrates just how ineffective Modi’s advice on stopping violence in the name of cow has been to the flag-bearers of Hindutva politics.