First Jain monk, now a CEO & MD — back-to-back murders trigger BJP-Congress spat in Karnataka


Bengaluru: The murders of two executives of an IT firm has led to a political row in Karnataka, with both the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing each other of provocation and abetting crimes to further political agendas.  

Late on Tuesday night, the Bengaluru Police arrested three people in connection with the murders of Aeronics Media Private Limited managing director Phanindra Subramanya and its chief executive officer, Vinu Kumar. The arrests came hours after the murders. 

Police have identified the suspects as Philics (Felix), Santhu, Arun Kumar and an unidentified person.

The First Information Report, accessed by ThePrint, ascribes the murder to a business rivalry — it claims that a person identified as Arun Kumar, owner of an broadband service provider firm G-Net, had ordered the hit. Arun Kumar is currently absconding.

According to the FIR, both Phanindra Subramanya and Vinu Kumar worked at G-Net before starting their own business, Aeronics around seven months ago. Soon, the company found success, even attracting former employees of G-Net, both of which allegedly irked Arun Kumar.

The development comes at a time when the murder of Jain monk Acharya Kamakumar Nandi ‘Maharaj’ has already raised political temperatures in Karnataka. Accusing the Siddaramaiah government of not investigating the case thoroughly, the BJP has been demanded that the probe be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).  

The twin murders, too, has led to a political row, with many BJP leaders calling Phanindra Subramanya a “seer” and accusing the Congress party of being “anti-Hindu”. 

Tweeting about the murders, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar accused the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government’s alleged “appeasement”, claiming that “criminals attacking Hindus are given a free pass”. He also retweeted a post that claims Phanindra was “Hindu seer”.   

The Congress, meanwhile, accuses its rival of “communalising” the murders. 

“BJP is always provoking people and communalising things (issues). They want some or the other law and order problem,” Karnataka’s Minister for Forest, Ecology & Environment Eshwar Khandre told reporters Wednesday.  

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru City Police said Wednesday that the suspects have been arrested and that an FIR was filed in the case.  

Also Read: Karnataka election 2023 — eight lessons for the BJP, Congress, and all of India

‘Deteriorating law & order’

A day after the two murders, the BJP has trained its guns on the ruling Congress. 

“One more day, one more murder. Humble request from citizens of Karnataka to the Congress govt, is to provide the “Guarantee of Life”, irrespective of whether other Guarantees are delivered or not! Law & Order situation has completely deteriorated since Congress assumed power,” B.Y. Vijayendra, a first-time BJP MLA and the vice-president of Karnataka BJP unit, tweeted. 

Vijayendra is the son of former chief minister and BJP veteran B.S. Yeddiyurappa. 

Claims of Phanindra being a “Hindu seer” also came from other BJP leaders such as  Sunil Deodhar, the BJP general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh. 

In his response, Minister for Forest, Ecology & Environment Khandre said: “(The) Congress government will maintain law & order…so those violating (peace) and those indulging in antisocial activities will be dealt with a heavy hand.” 

As for the murder of 58-year-old Jain monk Kaamakumar Nandi, two people have been arrested with the police blaming it on a financial dispute. 

Nandi was reported missing on 6 July from Nandi Parvata Jain Basadi, a Jain temple in Belgavi district where he had been staying for 15 years. A day later, his dismembered body was traced to a borewell in Hirekudi village, where the temple is located. 

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Also Read: BJP politics in Karnataka is letting Modi down. It’s becoming another Congress 



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