‘A few vested interests behind Shivamogga incidents’

In a conversation with The Daily Guardian on the untoward incidents in Shivamogga district following the killing of Bajrang Dal activist Harsha, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra discussed a host of issues. Excerpts:

Q: Can you explain what might have led to these untoward incidents in Shivamogga, what could be the background?

A: A thorough investigation is underway. Senior and efficient police officers have been deployed for the probe. We will probe and unearth all angles of this murder. These have been clearly instructed to the probe team already.

Q: Shivamogga is the home turf of former CM B. S. Yediyurappa, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj K.S. Eshwarappa, and it’s your home town too. Do you think it’s a conspiracy to defame you all?

A: We have first-hand information that a few vested interests were involved in it. Police are probing into all angles, including conspiracy of any organisation. We will prove it in through investigation. I can’t deny it. Of course, certain forces were involved in the killing. All Hindus and Muslims have been living harmoniously in Shivamogga. We have the information that some radical forces and organisations were involved in it. Of course, certain elements are trying to trigger violence, disturbance in Shivamogga. They are trying to defame us. We will probe into it. Certainly, we will nab the culprits.

Q: Do you think all these are happening because of Uttar Pradesh election?

A: We have been analysing the fact and involvement of radical forces or organisations behind the killing.

Q: What is the status of the case, right now?

A: Three have been arrested and interrogation of another 12 is going on. We will reveal everything after the completion of the probe.

Q: What kind of measures has been taken by the authorities in Shivamogga?

A: Elaborate police arrangements have been made in Shimoga. As many as 1,600 staff has been deployed and they will be in Shivamogga till the normalcy return.

Q: There was one version that Eshwarappa is the person who triggered the escalation in Shivamogga, and he has violated Section 144 in Shivamogga. How far is it true?

A: No, no truth in it. Eshwarappa didn’t violate any section of 144. Eshwarappa went there after the funeral procession. Eshwarappa, in fact, pacified the mass, assured them of legal action against the culprit.

Q: What is your message to society?

A: See, none of the students are responsible for this fiasco. Some forces are instigating young minds. They are instigating the young against the nation. I am requesting all students and parents to go back to the classroom. Let’s concentrate on studying. Do well in examination.

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