Radical Islamist outfit Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has announced today (February 14) that Mohammed Shafiq Bellare, currently in jail in connection with the murder of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha worker Praveen Nettaru, will be fielded as the party candidate in Puttur assembly constituency for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls.
Shafiq is accused no. 2 in the case related to Nettaru’s murder in Bellare village. The case is being handled by NIA. Shafiq was an active member of now banned Popular Front of India.
Ibrahim Sagar, president of the Puttur zonal committee of SDPI, said, “Shafi Bellare is the secretary of state unit of SDPI. It was decided six months ago to field him as the candidate of SDPI in the upcoming legislative assembly elections. Later, he was arrested in Praveen Nettaru murder case. So it is decided to field Shafi as the candidate. An official announcement to this effect will be made by national president M K Faizi.”
The decision to field Shafi Bellare was taken in the meeting of office bearers and activists of the party held in the taluk on February 10 under the leadership of Abdul Majeed Mysuru, state unit president.
Shafiq was acquainted with Nettaru as his father worked briefly in Nettaru’s chicken shop.
Nettaru was hacked to death by two bike-borne attackers in Bellare village of Dakshina Kannada in July last year.
The state police arrested six suspects in the murder before Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government handed over the case to the NIA.
The arrest followed a two-week-long operation that spanned neighbouring districts and Kerala.
Seven people were also arrested earlier for allegedly providing logistical support for the murder, including identifying Nettaru as a target.
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