Provincial secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Sharan Pumpwell on Saturday admitted that the organisation was responsible for the death of a 23-year-old young man, Mohammed Fazil.
On July 28 last year, Mohammed Fazil was hacked to death in front of a garment shop in the Mangaluru district of Karnataka. Seven people were accused of Fazil’s murder. According to a police investigation, the seven accused just “wanted to kill someone”. The men hired the white car for Rs 5,000 per day for three days.
Attending a Shaurya Yathre event of the Bajrang Dal held in Tumakuru district on Saturday, Pumpwell said that Fazil’s murder was to avenge the death of Praveen Nettaru, the 32-year-old Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader. Nettaru was attacked on July 27, 2022, with lethal weapons by unidentified persons who came on a bike.
“In order to respond to the murder of BJP leader Praveen Nettaru, youth in Surathkal killed him; not in an isolated place but in an open market. This is the power of Hindu youths,” Pumpwell said.
Praveen’s murder created a huge uproar and anger amongst the BJP workers in the district leading to mass resignation. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was put in charge of Nettaru’s murder investigation. On January 21 this year, NIA filed a chargesheet against 20 members of the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI).
Remembering the Godhra train tragedy in Gujarat, 2002, when 59 karsevaks were burnt to death while returning from Ayodhya, Pumpwell said that nobody can mess with the Hindus.
“Remember the Gujarat incident, when 59 karsevaks were returning from Ayodhya and their compartments were burnt? Also, remember the answer given by the people of Gujarat. None of the Hindus sat at home with their hands tied. They all got down to the streets. They entered each house. Fifty-nine karsevaks were killed but the count of the number of people who were killed as revenge is still not available. It is estimated that around 2,000 people were killed. This is the bravery of Hindus,” he said.
The Godhra train burning incident ultimately led to the infamous 2002 Gujarat riots that killed nearly 1,000 Muslims and displaced many. the state was governed by the BJP whose chief minister was the current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Killing somebody is not bravery: Fazil’s father
Reacting to the VHP leader’s latest admission of murdering his son, Mohammed Fazil’s father Farooq submitted a representation to the Mangaluru commissioner of police against Pumpwell.
Later he spoke to reporters where he said that Pumpwell is a coward. “Sending so many people to kill my son is not an act of bravery. Sharan Pumpwell has his own personal motives and thus uses religion to fulfil them. It is just for the vote bank,” Farooq said.
Karnataka will face the Assembly election in May this year. The current BJP state government run by chief minister Basavaraj Bommai is confident of regaining power.
Accusing politicians, Farooq said that none of them visited the family after Fazil’s death.
“To date, no MLA, MP or senior politician from the ruling party has visited our family. Now that the truth is out, I will fight till the end to get justice for my son,” Farooq told reporters.
Siasat.com reached out to the Mangalore police commissioner N Shashi Kumar who said further action will be decided soon.
“We have the video of VHP leader Sharan Pumpwell. We have sent it to the legal team to check its contents and transcripts. Based on what the legal team say, we will decide the further course of action,” the senior police officer said.