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Three arrested in Shivamogga Bajrang Dal leader's death: Home Minister

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Three arrested in Shivamogga Bajrang Dal leaders death: Home Minister
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Shivamogga: Cops probing the murder of Bajarang Dal leader arrested three people on Monday.

The 23-year-old man was killed in Karnataka's Shivamogga late on Sunday, February 20.

"Three people have been arrested in the case. Their interrogation is underway so I cannot comment on their background just yet. We have a suspicion that there is a link to the People's Front of India (PFI). We are conducting an investigation to ascertain their role," The News Minute quoted Home Minister Araga Jnanendra as saying.

Earlier in February, Harsha's death preceded violent protests in the area over hijab issue.

The state government previously denied having any links between the incidents; however, the Home Minister according to TNM suspects Harsha's death having a political shade.

"We have suspicions that there is a connection between the ongoing hijab row and this murder case. We have not yet found any evidence in that direction yet," he was quoted as saying. .

According to Indian Express Harsha was accused of attempt to murder in at least five cases as well as assault and communal attack against ant-social Muslim groups.

Harsha's murder triggered protests by right-wing groups in the town, with police forcing prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

However, the protests including funeral parade turned violent with vandalising and destroying public properties.

The News Minutes reported based on visuals of a mob wearing saffron shawls protesting, when another mob pelting stones at shops, ATMs and businesses.

As a few of the funeral procession pelted stones, police started lathi charge. In the thick of it, a squad vehicle was set on fire. Reports say that mobs targeted areas including Azad Nagar, and Nalbanwadi with high Muslim high concentration of Muslim population.

More police forces were deployed in Shivamogga to maintain law and order. Journalists reporting on the ground came in the sapper of attack, reports say.

"The violence in Muslim dominated areas started from last night (Sunday) in Nalbanwadi. Even today morning there was stone pelting," one resident told TNM. "This morning before the mob came, police reached there and asked all residents to go inside their homes and lock themselves up. But once the police left, the mob came again and set some vehicles on fire," he added.

What triggered Harsha's murder immediately escapes understanding, even though Shivamogga saw tension on hijab issue.

Union Minister Sobha Karandlaje wrote to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai regarding the matter, and alleged that a conspiracy was behind Harsha's killing. She also urged the government to transfer the investigation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), The News Minute reported.

As a precautionary measure, educational institutions in Shivamogga remained closed on Monday.

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