In a damage control mode after the murder of Praveen Nettaru, a BJP Yuva Morcha member, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai rushed to Mangaluru on Thursday. He met Praveen’s family and handed over a cheque of Rs 25 lakh from the state government relief fund and assured them that his killers and the organisations behind the killing would be punished.
The death of Praveen has left the ruling BJP and the Karnataka government anxious. Visuals of the BJP state president’s car being surrounded and shaken by an angry mob was an unexpected sight. More so, because it happened in a region that is the Sangh bastion, but more importantly because it was BJP’s own cadres who were enraged with their leaders.
But just a week ago, another youth was killed under the same Bellare Police Station limits and his family received no such assurances from the CM. Nineteen-year-old Masud was assaulted by a group of people near his house on July 19. Two days later, he succumbed to his injuries. Masud was a painter from Kerala and did not belong to any political or religious organisation. He is now survived by his mother and three siblings. The police have arrested eight people in relation to the murder and all of them belong to Hindu organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.
“As soon as I heard that CM Bommai is coming to Mangaluru, I had given a statement that he should not just visit the family of Praveen, but also that of Masud,” said Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) State president Muneer Katipalla. “Just like Praveen’s family is bereaved, so is Masud’s. The CM should have followed his duty and should not have discriminated,” he added.
- Advertisement -
Leaders from the Congress party too, have criticised CM Bommai of discrimination for not providing compensation to Masud’s family. Leader of Opposition, Siddaramaiah, too questioned why CM Bommai did not visit the family of Masud.
By giving financial compensation only to one family and not to the other, Bommai has violated Article 14 of the Constitution, said BT Venkatesh, a human rights advocate. Article 14 refers to equality before the law. “There are clear guidelines on how the funds under the CM Relief Fund should be disbursed. So when the CM gives to one family and not to the other, I want to know what was the rationale he applied. He is, otherwise, defeating the purpose of why people put him in his position,” he added.