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'Shoot Them Mercilessly': Karnataka CM 'Orders' Action After JD(S) Worker is Hacked to Death

Kumaraswamy later defended his actions, saying the comments were made in a fit of rage.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:December 25, 2018, 6:51 PM IST
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'Shoot Them Mercilessly': Karnataka CM 'Orders' Action After JD(S) Worker is Hacked to Death
File photo of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
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Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has landed in a row after he was caught on tape giving instructions to “shoot down mercilessly” the accused in the murder of a JD(S) worker who was hacked to death on Monday evening.

Victim Honnalagere Prakash, a district-level party member of the JD(S), was travelling in his car on Mysuru Road when four bike-borne assailants chased him at the highway on Maddur. The men opened the car’s back door, where Prakash was sitting and attacked him. Initial reports said Prakash was alive after the attack but succumbed to his injuries later.

District level party member of JD(S) Honnalagere Prakash who was murdered on Monday.
District level party member of JD(S) Honnalagere Prakash who was murdered on Monday.

Recalling Prakash as a loyal worker, Kumaraswamy said: “Very good person he was. I am shocked that such a person they have killed. Earlier, there were three murders… the inspectors here… am very disappointed… someone being killed on the road like this… I don't know what action you are all taking. It is your responsibility... Shoot them down mercilessly, no issue.. let it be. No issue. I don't care about all that…”

However, as the video went viral, the chief minister clarified that he had made the remarks in a fit of rage. "I said it in that tension. Because as soon as I landed I was told there is this murder that has happened. Person named Prakash has been killed… it was a natural human reaction… it was not my order as a CM... it was in the fit of rage in that situation because those people (alleged killers) are those who killed two others earlier.. were in jail, came out on bail.. within two days killed him… this man was very good, was actively involved in so many works for the society,” he said.

The incident prompted protests by party workers who blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru and Bengaluru-Dindigul highways, alleging that political rivalry was behind the "murder". The demonstrations also led to traffic jams running up to 15km. However, the protesters later called off the agitation and the highways were cleared.

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