After receiving widespread condemnations over his "kill mercilessly" comment from across India, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has offered many clarifications, adding that it was a sleep of tongue "in an emotional state of mind". On Monday, Kumaraswamy raked up a political storm after he was caught on tape instructing someone to “kill mercilessly” those who were behind the murder of a local Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader. "He (H Prakash) was a good man. I don't know who killed him in this way. Kill the miscreant mercilessly in a shootout. There would be no problem," Kumaraswamy was heard saying in the video clip, recorded by local journalists.
As his words provoked sharp and extensive criticism, the Karnataka chief minister came out in his own defence, saying that "In an emotional state of mind, instead of saying smoke out, I said shoot out".
"It was not my order, I was emotional at that moment. They (the killers) are the reason for two murders and they were in jail. They came out on bail two days ago and killed another person...this is how they are misusing bail," the chief minister added.
In a veiled attack on his successor, former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa on Tuesday demanded an apology for the contentious remark by Kumaraswamy. Taking to Twitter, the state BJP alleged that for Kumaraswamy, all that mattered was JD-S.
"Farmers died - No emotions, Govt officials killed - Doesn’t matter, Massive Corruption - That’s ok, no development programs - I don’t print note, Dalits pushed to Slavery - hmmm, JDS Karyakartha murdered - Orders cops to immediately shoot, For Kumaraswamy all that matters is JDS," the Karnataka BJP tweeted this morning.
On Saturday, H Prakash, the 40-year-old JD-S leader was stabbed to death at Benamana Halli near Kala Muddana Doddi in South Karnataka. Kumar, who ran a cable TV business, was attacked by a group of bike-borne assailants, who forced him to stop his SUV and attacked him with machetes. The killers left him slumped inside the car, soaked in his blood.
Though Kumar was rushed to a nearby government hospital in Halagur, he succumbed to his injuries during treatment, according to police. Prima facie, police suspect that financial or business disputes have resulted in the murder. However, the actual reason behind Kumar's killing is yet to be ascertained.
Following the incident, the Chief Minister's office issued a statement asking the district police to launch an investigation in connection to the same. "Prakash was a loyal party worker. The district police have been directed to take steps to arrest the accused," the statement read.