Bajrang Dal leader among four held in Nargund over murder of youth

Sameer Shahapur, 19, who was killed in Nargund on January 16, 2022.

Sameer Shahapur, 19, who was killed in Nargund on January 16, 2022.

Police officers of Nargund in Gadag district in Karnataka have arrested four persons on the charges of murder and assault on two persons, one of whom succumbed to his injuries.

The arrested persons are Bajrang Dal leader and civil contractor Sanju Nalvade, Mallikarjun alias Gundya Muttappa Hiremath, Channabasappa alias Channu Chandrashekar Akki, and Sakrappa Hanumanthappa Kakanur. All of them are from Nargund.

They are charged with killing Sameer Shahapur, 19, a server in a roadside eatery in Nargund, and Shamsher Khan Pathan, a photographer. The accused allegedly attacked the victims on January 16 night.

Sameer Shahapur died in Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Hubballi on January 17. He was attacked by a mob of around 15 persons who are alleged to be members of the Bajrang Dal and RSS. The mob had attacked Sameer and his friend Shamsher Khan Pathan, 19, with weapons near their shop in Nargund on January 16 night.

The mob allegedly stopped the duo, who were on a motorbike, and attacked them with rods and knives. When the victims tried to get up and flee, they were allegedly trodden by the attackers who also hit them with rods and knives.

The attack was recorded on CCTV cameras nearby. Passers-by took the two youth to a hospital in Nargund. Police later shifted them to KIMS. Sameer had suffered injuries on his chest while Shamsher had suffered injuries on his back.

Sameer’s family members have complained to Nargund police that this was a hate crime. They have accused some local leaders of killing Sameer. “My son is innocent. He did not commit any crime. He was targeted only because of his faith,” his mother told the police.

On January 17 evening, Sanju Nalvade had addressed a crowd in front of the police station where he had called upon the gathering to beat up Muslim youth wherever they encountered them. The Bajrang Dal leader dared the circle inspector of police to come out and arrest him, and book cases against him and his supporters. “If you are really courageous, then you should file cases against all of us,” Sanju Nalvade had said.

A case was filed against Sanju Nalvade and others on January 17 night.

Trouble began five days ago in Nargund following an altercation between two groups. Police filed two cases against 75 persons, including some Bajrang Dal members and some Muslim youth who were charged with insulting Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.

On January 18, thousands turned up for the namaze janaja (prayer for a deceased) and burial of Sameer in Nargund.

Gadag Superintendent of Police Shiva Prakash Devaraj said an investigation is under way.

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 3:03:31 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bajrang-dal-leader-among-four-held-in-nargund-over-murder-of-youth/article38291292.ece