A controversial statement by Mangaluru MP Nalin Kumar Kateel of the BJP, which has gone viral on social media, could raise communal tension in the region. Speaking in Konaje on January 1, Kateel allegedly said that “a fire would be set in Dakshina Kannada” if police didn’t arrest the murderers of Karthik Raj, an RSS sympathiser.

 

The MP was participating in a protest organised by the Hindu Hitarakshana Vedike in memory of Raj, who was killed in October 2016 by unidentified men. “It is Muslims, not Christians, who are provoking communal disharmony in Dakshina Kannada. The terrorists from Kerala are setting fire in Ullala and other towns that are located at the border. The district is going to face danger if the police don’t take serious action,” he said.

 

Kateel claimed that Hindus in the region were living under fear as police had failed to arrest Raj’s killers as they were being influenced by the local MLA. He criticised the police of behaving like Congress workers.

 

Thousands of Hindu Hitarakshana Vedike members participated in the protest, which also included a march from the Krishna Bhajan Mandir to Konaje Police station.

 

Followed by the statements of MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, Santhosh, President of Block congress filed a complaint against the MP at Konaje Police Station.

 

However, later following widespread criticism the BJP MP apologised for his remark.

 

Speaking to Suvarna News, the MP told that he had become emotional while giving the speech and the words slipped from his mouth unintentionally. He apologised for using such words and clarified his statement that he warned the police for their negligence which in future may enrage the people's emotion.

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