Bengaluru,14/December/2017(ITNN)>>> The Karnataka government on Wednesday announced it was handing over the inquiry into the death of 19-year-old Paresh Mesta to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Paresh's death in Honnavar had set off a wave of violence in Uttara Kannada district over the past three days,leading to claims and counter-claims being traded between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP.
The government insisted that Wednesday's decision was in deference to a demand from Kamalakar Mesta, Paresh's father. Home minister Ramalinga Reddy's announcement came hours after Paresh's father told reporters that he will return Rs 1 lakh the government had given him as compensation. He said it was in "protest against the government's apathy to the probe into Paresh's death. By ordering a CBI probe,the Congress has managed to silence the BJP which was planning to make it a poll issue.
We are handing over the case to the CBI only because Paresh's father has been demanding it, and not due to pressure from the BJP," Reddy told reporters here. Paresh's body was found in a temple pond in Honnavar, two days after hehad gone missing. Police claim Paresh went missing after an altercation between an autorickshaw driver and a two-wheeler rider sparked communal clashes in the area. The BJP has been claiming that Pareshwas murdered by members of another community.
However,initial postmortem findings state there were no injuries madeby weapons on Paresh's body. Handing over Paresh s casetotheCBIisseen as a clever move by the Congress government as the BJP had planned to make Paresh's death an issue in next year's assembly elections. Contrary to Kamalakar's claim that his son was not associated with any political party or organisation, the BJP had been alleging that he was murdered for his Hindutva links.
BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje alleged Paresh was castrated,his hands were chopped and body had turned black. By referring the case to the CBI, the government can always point a finger at the central investigation agency, which is under the NDA government, for any delay in the probe. Besides,the BJP would have found loopholes in any probeby a state agency no matter how impartial the probe may have been. Reddy pointed to the case of IAS officer D K Ravi.
The BJP had claimed that the officer was murdered, but a CBI probe had revealed it was a case of suicide,giving the government a clean chit in the case. BJP wants to keep the Paresh issue alive till the elections,Reddy said. We have now given ittoCBI, which is under a government run by their party. The postmortem report willtakeeightto10days. Itwilldisclosethe actual cause of death, but BJP has already jumpedtoconclusions.