Two persons were arrested on Tuesday night on the charge of “provoking religious sentiments” by allegedly dumping the carcass of a piglet in a masjid at Mallur Demmale on the outskirts of the city on November 12.
The Mangalore Rural police gave their names as Pavan (20), a refrigeration systems mechanic, and Avinash (23), a painter, both residents of Maripalla on the border of Bantwal and Mangalore taluks. They have been remanded in judicial custody till November 30. The police said the two were members of Go Raksha Samiti.
M.B. Puranik, president of the local unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, confirmed that the two were members of the samiti, which is part of the VHP. The two are accused of dumping the piglet’s headless carcass in the Badriya masjid. On the same day, the head of a piglet was found tied to the gate of a madrasa in Ammunje in Bantwal taluk nearby. The police said that Pavan and Avinash were now the prime suspects in that case also.
“We will get a body warrant against the two and conduct a probe which will be parallel to the one taken up by the Mangalore Rural police,” said Mahesh Prasad, sub-inspector, Bantwal Rural.
Interrogation revealed that the two dumped the piglet’s carcass in the masjid after the severed head of a cow was found on a religious structure built by the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on November 9 at Farangipete, near their residence. Three persons — Mansur, Tasleem and Imran — were arrested in connection with that case, while another accused, Bashir, is absconding.
The Bantwal Rural police said the incident was a “counter” for a series of “raids” on illegal cattle transport in the days preceding Bakrid in the last week of October.
“The Bajrang Dal was active during that time, seizing cattle that were being illegally transported or were in illegal abattoirs. Around 10 cows were seized, and interrogation of Mansur, Tasleem and Imran revealed that they suffered losses of more than Rs. 1 lakh because of this. Enraged by this, they placed the severed head of a cow on the Bajrang Dal structure,” he said.