8 Arrested in Bajrang Dal Activist's Murder in Karnataka

Prashant Poojary's murder cannot be compared to the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri, Karnataka Home Minister KJ George said.

Bengaluru: Eight people have been arrested for the murder of Bajrang Dal activist Prashant Poojary who was killed in Moodbidri in coastal Karnataka on earlier this month.

Mr Poojary was killed allegedly for trying to stop illegal cow slaughter by the men who are members of the Popular Front of India or PFI - a pro-Muslim group.

On October 9, Mr Poojary was attacked by six men in broad daylight in a marketplace. He died the same day of his injuries.

The murder added to an underlying communal tension in the volatile region with allegations that it was related to the campaign against cow slaughter.

Mr Poojary had been also charged with rioting after forcefully stopping cattle transport earlier this year.

"So far we have identified 11 culprits, out of which 8 have been arrested. They were members of the PFI. What was the motive for to do this, it is subject to investigation and we will wait for the other three fellows to be arrested," Karnataka Director General of Police Om Prakash told NDTV.

An eyewitness in the crime was also found dead. The police said it was a suicide.

"It is very unfortunate. A cow protector was brutally murdered in an organised way by the PFI activist - no outrage over it. He has been ignored. His murder is not being highlighted anywhere. His life is as worth as Mr Akhlaq in Dadri. No killing should take place under any circumstance for any reason," BJP spokesperson in Karnataka, S Prakash, told NDTV.

Mohammad Akhlaq, 52, was lynched by a mob in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri last month allegedly over rumours that his family had consumed beef. Forensic tests later disproved the rumours.

Karnataka's home minister KJ George, however rejected the argument. "There is no comparison between Dadri and this incident. This is a murder and already the persons accused have been arrested and we will see firm action will be taken. We request all the peace-loving people to cooperate with the police and see that there should not be any tension," he said.