Udupi, DHNS: A BJP activist was bludgeoned to death by Hindu Jagarana Vedike members while he was transporting cattle in his mini truck at Kenjur in Brahmavar here on Wednesday night.
The victim has been identified as Praveen Poojary, 29. His friend, Akshay Devadiga, 22, who sustained injuries in the attack, is being treated at a local hospital.
According to Poojary’s mother Baby, her son who ran a poultry farm, left his shop around 8 pm as his neighbour Ramesh had hired his vehicle for transporting four calves. Around 9.30 pm, when Baby called Poojary, someone else received the call and told her that Poojary’s vehicle was stuck in sludge and they were trying to extricate it.
Suspecting something amiss, Baby immediately called her son-in-law Prasad, who rushed to her house. But by then, the police had arrived there and informed the family members of the assault on Poojary. Even before Prasad could reach the hospital in Brahmavar, Poojary had breathed his last.
Sources said some local residents, who found Poojary and Devadiga lying on the road, shifted them to hospital.
Poojary’s father Vasu said his entire family was dependent on his son.
“Ï still can’t believe he is no more. He is innocent and wouldn’t harm even an ant,” he said wiping off his tears. “Whenever people in the village approached him for help, he would never say no to anyone.”
Prasad, a gram panchayat member, said when he went to his mother-in-law’s house after receiving her call, he saw the police and only then he realised the tragedy.
The sources said Poojary’s mini truck was hired to transport cattle to Kokkarne.
He was assaulted with iron rods and the two men who had hired the vehicle fled the spot after the attack, the sources added.
Police arrest 18 Hindu activists for murder
The police have arrested 18 people in connection with the murder of BJP?worker Praveen Poojary.
Superintendent of Police K T Balakrishna told DH that the police arrested the suspects immediately after the crime.
Though the incident took place in Kajke in Nalkuru village in Hebri police station limits, the suspects dragged the victims for some distance after attacking them, so that the ‘crime spot’ falls under Brahmavar police station limits. Apparently, they did this as there are cases against them in the Hebri police station. The victims were attacked brutally with iron rods. The suspects claimed that they had attacked the duo to protect the animals, Balakrishna said.
Ramesh Poojary, who had hired the vehicle from Praveen, has also been taken into custody as he had purchased the calves for trading. According to preliminary reports, the calves were purchased at Mudur near Brahmavar, he said.
The police have registered a case under the IPC Sections 143, 147, 148, 341, 302, 324 and 427 against Umesh, Rajesh, Pradeep, Srikanth Kulal, Sudeep and others, all belonging to Hindu Jagarana Vedike. The postmortem was conducted at KMC, Manipal.
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