NIA to Take over Probe, Sources Tell News18

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is set to take over the probe into the murder of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader Praveen Nettaru in Karnataka’s Dakshin Kannada, top sources told CNN-News18 exclusively.

Nettaru, 32, was hacked to death in front of his broiler shop in Bellare by three bike-borne miscreants on July 26.

The killing led to tension at several places in Dakshina Kannada district with instances of stone-pelting and police lathi-charge being reported.

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act will be applied to the case, said sources.

The decision has been taken given the inter-state ramifications of the incident and suspected involvement of the Popular Front of India (PFI), said the source.

With the modus operandi and gruesome nature of the crime, the agency feels the NIA Act, 2008 can also be applied to the case, he added.


So far, the local police have arrested two people from Kerala with links to the PFI in connection with the murder.

The NIA will look into all aspects, including the motive and finances, said the source.

ALSO READ | ‘Praveen Told Police He Was Being Followed’: Was Karnataka BJP Youth Worker’s Murder ‘Retaliation’?

Nettaru had in a Facebook post on June 29 written about “poor tailor” Kanhaiya Lal who was beheaded by two cleaver-wielding men in Rajasthan recently. He also wrote about the threats to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the killers and questioned the role of the Congress, which is in power in Rajasthan.


Among the angles looked at were if Nettaru’s death was a fallout of another clash between members of two communities that happened on July 19 and if he was targeted in retaliation for an attack on a local man called Masood in Mangaluru’s Sullia on that day, a senior police official from Mangaluru had told News18.

News18 has learnt that a local PFI leader Shafi Bellare is said to have issued an open threat to avenge the death of Masood who succumbed to his injuries on July 21.

ALSO READ | Karnataka BJP Youth Worker’s Murder: Yuva Morcha Leaders Meet to Mount Pressure on Bommai Govt

“After Masood’s death, there were several threats going around about attacking Hindu leaders. We are sure Praveen was targeted for this very reason,” said a friend of Nettaru had said.

Sachin Shenoy, Puttur Yuva Morcha city president, had also told News18 that Nettaru had informed the police of a “possible threat”.

“He told the police that he knew he was being followed. The local officers dismissed it and ridiculed him instead of providing police protection. They said he (Praveen) was not that big a leader to face a threat,” Shenoy said.

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