Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Tuesday visited the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison here and inspected the barracks of the accused in Bajrang Dal activist Harsha murder case.
Videos and photos of the accused enjoying in the prison, making video calls to their families had surfaced on social media embarrassing the ruling BJP government in the state.
Harsha’s sister Ashwini had alleged that the state home minister lacked courtesy to even speak to her for 10 minutes when she met him with compliants of Harsha’s murder accused getting royal treatment in prison.
Minister Jnanendra paid a surprise visit to the Central Prison and asked the accused how they managed to get the mobile phone inside the prison. He also inspected high risk barracks.
The ruling BJP, especially Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, came under attack by Hindu organisations and activists after the photos and videos showing the accused enjoying themselves inside the prison went viral.
Reacting to the issue, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had stated that a section of the prison authorities seem to be lenient.
Prison authorities had lodged a separate case on the jailed accused in connection with using mobile phone in prison.
Photos and videos showed the accused talking to their family, friends and relatives on video calls leading to a public outrage.
Harsha’s mother had even stated that it is better that the authorities to set them free instead of keeping them in prison, if this is the punishment they are being subjected to. She has also stated that the system has betrayed their family.
Considering the sensitivity of the issue, Alok Mohan, ADGP of Prisons had shunted out the Central Prison Chief Superintendent of Central Prison Ranganath and six officers working under him.
Investigations had proved that the accused were using mobile phones in the prison. A separate case had been lodged against them which will attract additional imprisonment up to five years for the offense, said prison authorities.
Harsha was hacked to death by a gang of miscreants on February 20 at the height of the hijab crisis triggering concerns and law and order situation.
Popularly known as Harsha Hindu, Harsha was at the forefront of Hindutva activities and questioned illegal transportation of cows. He shared fierce Hindutva messages on his social media accounts and also commented on the hijab issue.
The murder has led to widespread violence and threatened to spread all over the state. The ruling BJP had claimed that few organisations are trying to give a message through the murder.
The case is now being probed by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
As many as 10 persons have been arrested in connection with the murder so far. Sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 have been evoked against them.