Mangaluru police have arrested six Hindu men in connection with the murder of Muslim youth Muhammed Fazil in Karnataka’s Surathkal on 28 July.
23-year-old Fazil, a daily wage worker at Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), was brutally hacked to death, in what is seen as a retaliatory attack in response to the murder of BJP youth wing worker Praveen Nettaru, who was attacked and killed on 26 July.
The six people who have been arrested have been identified as Suhas Shetty (29), Mohan (26), Giridhar (23), Abhishek (21), Srinivas (23), and Deekshith (21), said Mangaluru police commissioner Shashi Kumar. Ajith Crasta, the owner of the car used in the murder, was also arrested by the police.
According to the cops, Suhas Shetty, who coordinated the murder on Fazil, has four prior cases against him, including assaults on Muslim men and a murder case from 2010.
The police said that Suhas Shetty and others planned to kill Fazil, and that they had been observing the Muslim man for some days before the attack.
Suhas Shetty discussed a plan to commit a murder on the night of July 26, the day BJP leader Praveen Nettaru was killed in Bellare village in Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada, police claimed.
Praveen’s murder followed the murder of a Muslim man Masood, a resident of Kalanja in Sullia taluk on July 21.
The police commissioner Shashi Kumar denied that the attack was linked to a personal issue and debunked reports suggesting that Fazil was attacked by Muslim men over a love affair.