Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has found himself at the centre of a controversy after a purported video, in which he is heard ordering a police official to “shoot mercilessly” those who killed a JD(S) worker in Mandya, went viral.
According to The Financial Express, a few activists from Karnataka have filed a petition with the State Human Rights Commission on the issue.
Activist Narasimhamurthy told ANI that the Chief Minister told police officials to shoot the culprits. “In our country, there’s law and constitution. Procedure of law should be followed, the Chief Minister cannot give such statements,” he added.
In the video, Kumaraswamy was heard saying: “I don’t know how you will handle it (the case)... because it was your responsibility. I am actually disappointed because it (the murder) brought a bad name. He (Prakash) was a good person...
“There is no problem if you shoot such people mercilessly,” he said alluding to the alleged killers.
“I am least bothered (about the consequences),” the Chief Minister had also said.
Kumaraswamy has sought to clarify his remark by saying that “it was an emotional outburst” and he did not mean it.
He said he acted in a fit of rage as he knew the victim, 50-year old H Prakash, a former zilla panchayat member.
“It is beyond my imagination that such a person can ever be killed. My words were only an emotional outburst, which I did not mean,” he said.
Leaders close to the JD(S) leader, according to NDTV, also said that he was shocked to hear about the killing and it was just an outburst.
The Chief Minister’s Office issued a statement saying the comments were an “emotional reaction” to the incident and not orders by Kumaraswamy.
Prakash was hacked to death, allegedly by four men, in Maddur town of Mandya district Monday evening, police said.
The assailants had stopped Prakash’s car when he was going home and hacked him to death with machetes.
Tension prevailed in Maddur and Mandya after the incident as people ‘gheraoed’ the police station demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.
The Chief Minister also said that there were two murders earlier in the locality and that he had asked the police to be careful as the accused in the crime were released on bail.
BJP demands apology
Slamming Kumaraswamy, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa said, “I never expected this from the Chief Minister. If he speaks like this, what will happen to the law and order situation? An irresponsible and nonsense statement by Kumaraswamy”.
(With PTI inputs)