National General Secretary of the BJP and MLA C.T. Ravi on Monday stoked a controversy by saying that "intolerance is present in the community since the birth of Islam".
Speaking to reporters on the murder of a Bajrang Dal activist in Shivamogga, he maintained that there is "no connection between tolerance and Islam".
"Islam has taken birth on the premise of expansion. They cannot agree to another opinion or be tolerant of other people. There is no room for questioning and liberty. The community has to accept the brutal ways, there is no other way. May be the scholars of Islam, if they do serious thinking, the truth in this regard will come out," Ravi said.
He dubbed the murder a premeditated act and demanded that action should be initiated no matter who is involved in it.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, "Harsha, who was killed brutally on Sunday night, was a worker of our organisation. We have got many clues and arrests would be made soon. I appeal to people to maintain peace," he said.
Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa stated that the murder of the Bajrang Dal activist is a condemnable act and the culprits should be arrested soon. "When such elements are arrested and punished, these kinds of incidents of goondagiri and murder will stop," he said.
Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Mining Pralhad Joshi maintained that such incidents have taken place earlier also in Shivamogga. "The government should consider the incident seriously and arrest the accused soon. One murder case can't be dubbed as the failure of the government," he asserted.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah demanded capital punishment for the murderers of the Bajrang Dal activist. "First find the killers, whoever they may be, they should be sent to the gallows."
"Home Minister Araga Jnanendra and Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj K.S. Eshwarappa belong to Shivamogga district and they have failed as ministers. I won't ask for their resignations as they are thick skinned," Siddaramaiah added.
D.K. Shivakumar, State Congress President, slammed Eshwarappa over his alleged 'saffron flag at the Red Fort' remark and stated, "Eshwarappa will blame me for everything. He has already put the state on fire by his statements, let him investigate my role."
"We are also pained by the murder. Our party condemns the act of murder. We are getting inputs that the murder has taken place for personal reasons. Let them investigate," Shivakumar added.
BJP MLC Ravikumar stated that amid the hijab row, a Hindu youth had been hacked to death. He claimed that during the Siddaramnaiah led Congress rule, 18 Hindus were killed. "The government should cut the roots of these terror elements," he demanded.
Sriram Sena Founder Pramod Muthalik has claimed that the killers have been trained in Kerala. "Earlier too, they had attempted to assault Harsha many times and the deceased had filed police complaints in this regard."
"CFI, PFI and SDPI must be banned, what is the government waiting for? There have been many incidents of Hindu activists being killed in Shivamogga," Muthalik asserted.
"These elements must be kept in check. If they can commit such a crime in a district from where Home Minister Araga Janendra, Minister Eshwarappa and former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa hail from, it is a total collapse of the system. The community members must be careful. This is not Pakistan or Afghanistan to take out a aword and do what you want. There is law and constitution. They must seek remedies legally to their problems. They can't play out their things here," Muthalik warned.
Meanwhile, the body of Harsha, who was hacked to death, was handed over to his family. Despite prohibitory orders thousands of Hindu activists took out a procession, during which incidents of stone pelting, shops' and vehicles' torching were reported.
The family sources said that the final rites would be conducted according to Maratha traditions.
Police sources stated that they have arrested two persons in connection with the murder.