CBI to probe death of Hindu activist in Karnataka

CBI to probe death of Hindu activist in Karnataka

Bengaluru: Karnataka on Wednesday decided to hand over the investigation into the mysterious death of Hindu activist Paresh Mesta to the CBI, police said.

“The state government has decided to handover the inquiry into the death of Mesta to the CBI on the request of his father Kamalakar Mesta,” Inspector General of Police, Western Range, Hemant Nimbalkar told IANS from Karwar.

“I have directed the state Director General of Police and Chief Secretary to complete the formalities and hand over the probe to the CBI at the earliest,” state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy told reporters here later.

The 19-year-old’s mutilated body was found on December 8 floating in a lake at Honnavar, a coastal town in Uttara Kannada district, about 490km northwest of Bengaluru.

According to Mesta’s family, he went missing on December 6.

“My son did not return home after visiting a temple on December 6. There were clashes in the town that day after which he was found missing. We suspect he was kidnapped and murdered. I want his killers punished,” his father told reporters at Honnavar earlier on Wednesday.

Police, however, denied Mesta’s family charge that he was abducted and killed by some members of another community.

“Mesta’s body has been sent for autopsy, whose report will reveal the cause of his death. The report is expected in 8-10 days,” said Reddy.

Suspecting foul play, the opposition BJP demanded a National Investigation Agency or Central Bureau of Investigation probe into Mesta’s unnatural death, alleging that he was “murdered by Jihadi elements”.

Mesta’s death sparked off unrest in the coastal towns of Kumta, Sirsi and Honnavar during the last two days, as hundreds of BJP cadres and right-wing activists held protest rallies and sought action against the alleged killers.