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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

NIA declares reward of Rs. 5 lakh each against 2 PFI terrorists for Praveen Nettaru’s brutal murder

National Investigation Agency (NIA) has declared a reward of Rs 5 lakh each against two Popular Front of India (PFI) terrorists – Kodaje Mohammed Sherif, 53, and Masud KA, 40, both residents of Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka.

The accused are wanted in the NIA case relating to the murder of Praveen Nettaru, a resident of Bellare, Karnataka and District Secretary of BJP Yuva Morcha, using a sharp weapon on July 26, 2022 to strike terror among the people of society.

The NIA bounty poster states, “Whosoever provides any information leading to the arrest of the above-mentioned accused persons shall be rewarded.” It adds that the informer’s identity will be kept secret.

Praveen Kumar Nettaru (31), a resident of Sulia, was hacked to death by bike-borne terrorists who attacked him with swords as he was returning home. Praveen owned a chicken shop at Peruvaje Cross, Bellare village near Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district.

Earlier, it was reported that Zakir (29) from Savanoor and Mohammed Shafiq (27) from Bellare were arrested from Kasargod, Kerala, for Praveen’s murder, and 21 others detained. 

Praveen was a popular face in the area, who was involved in several social welfare activities. He left behind a wife Noothana, aged parents and three sisters.

Praveen Nettaru with wife Noothana (Image credit: starsunfolded.com)

Did Praveen Nettatru’s murder finally lead to a ban on PFI?

The BJP government in Karnataka and even RSS faced a huge backlash across Karnataka after Praveen’s murder, as it came on the back of several such murders carried out by the Islamist terror outfit PFI.

BJP grassroots workers and ordinary Hindus were already smarting from the news that the killers of young activist Harsha were enjoying themselves in a Bengaluru prison. When Harsha’s elder sister Ashwini went to meet the BJP leadership to demand suspension of the negligent police officials, she was spoken to harshly by Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. What made matters worse was a vicious police lathi-charge against protesting BJP and Sangh parivar workers.

Mass resignations poured in from BJYM and other wings of the Karnataka BJP.

BJP Kota Yuva Morcha president Sushant Shetty resigned saying, “Even though people working for the party and organization are being killed, the state and central government are not taking any action. Despite the empty promise of strict action by the state government and the arrest of the accused, they are getting royal status in jail. We are constantly suffering in this matter”.

A rattled BJP leadership, led by state party president Nalin Kumar Kateel went into damage control mode. Kateel’s car had been almost toppled by angry workers when he joined Praveen’s funeral. He assured the family that he would build them a house, days after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai made the announcement of a job for Praveen’s wife.

But even this action was not enough to calm the genuine anger bubbling in grassroots workers, with some calling it an election gimmick, and others questioning Kateel’s credibility citing the case of Deepak Rao, a Hindu activist, who was killed in 2018 just before the last elections. His speech-impaired brother was said to have been promised a job by MP Kateel, but hasn’t been given one as yet, said local workers, as per a Swarajya report dated September 14, 2022.

The case of Sharath Madivala, murdered in July 2017 by suspected PFI terrorists, too was brought up as the party “that came to power especially on the coast winning 7 out of 8 seats” took no action against the Islamist outfit, said workers.

PFI and its 8 front organizations including its student wing CFI (Campus Front of India) were finally banned on September 28, 2022 by the centre for 5 years. However, its political arm SDPI is still functioning openly.

At the time, the Home Ministry said that PFI cadres have been involved in several terrorist acts and the murder of several persons including Sanjith (Kerala, November 2021)V. Ramalingam, (Tamil Nadu, 2019)Nandu, (Kerala, 2021)Abhimanyu (Kerala, 2018)Bibin (Kerala, 2017)Sharath (Karnataka, 2017)R. Rudresh (Karnataka, 2016)Praveen Poojary (Karnataka, 2016)Sasi Kumar (Tamil Nadu, 2016) and Praveen Nettaru (Karnataka, 2022)

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