HD Kumaraswamy clarifies 'kill mercilessly' statement, says it was emotional response to JD(S) loyalist's murder, not a CM's order

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy explained his "kill mercilessly" comment on Tuesday after facing much flak. He said that he had not made the statement "as a chief minister", but under a surge of emotion and "due to anger", ANI reported.

On Monday, Kumaraswamy was caught on camera instructing someone — reportedly likely to be a police officer — to "mercilessly" avenge the killing of a local JD(S) leader. He had said, "He (JDS leader Prakash) was a good man, I don't know why they murdered him. Kill them (assailants) mercilessly in a shootout, no problem."

However, later in the day, the chief minister clarified saying, "It was not my order, I was emotional at that moment. they (the killers) are the reason for two murders and they were in jail. They came out on bail two days ago and killed another person (local politician Prakash), this is how they are misusing bail." NDTV also quoted him as saying, "It was not an order passed by me as the chief minister. It was due to anger." He also asked supporters of the murdered leader to "not lose their cool".

Prakash was murdered on Monday by unidentified assailants while he was travelling in his car in Maddur. According to reports, Prakash (50) was travelling on Mysuru Road in Mandya when he was attacked by four bike-born assailants. Initial reports said Prakash was alive after the attack but succumbed to his injuries later.

Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has ordered an inquiry into the incident. In a statement issued by the CMO, the chief minister said, "Prakash, who was murdered, was a party loyalist. I have instructed the police to take all necessary measures to ensure that such incidents are not recurring."

A case of murder has been registered at the Maddur Police station, and the police are investigating a revenge angle. The News Minute quoted a Maddur police official saying, "Two years ago, a JD(S) leader Kumar, also known as Cable Kumar, was brutally murdered by bike-borne assailants in Mandya. At the time, there was speculation that Prakash may have been involved in the crime. He may have been targeted by a rival faction but the investigation will reveal the truth."

The incident prompted protests by party workers on the Bengaluru-Mysuru and Bengaluru-Dindigul highways, alleging that political rivalry was behind the incident. The demonstrations also led to traffic jams running up to several kilometres. However, the protesters later called off the agitation and the highways were cleared.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Dec 25, 2018 10:25:00 IST