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HomeDaily ReadsKarnataka Jain Monk’s Death: Is There A Communal Angle To The Brutal...

Karnataka Jain Monk’s Death: Is There A Communal Angle To The Brutal Murder?

Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Ruby leads editorial, operations and initiatives at Newschecker. In her former avatar at New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s leading national news network, she was a news anchor, supervising producer and senior output editor. Her over a decade-long career encompasses ground-breaking reportage from conflict zones and reporting on terror incidents, election campaigns, and gender issues. Ruby is an Emmy-nominated producer and has handled both local and international assignments, including the coverage of Arab Spring in 2011, the US Presidential elections in 2016, and ground reportage on the Kashmir issue since 2009.

The brutal murder of a Jain monk in Karnataka has brought the spotlight on the southern state, which recently saw a change of guard after a highly contested election that was held earlier in May.

The Digambar Jain seer, identified as Muni Kamkumar Nandi maharaj, was reportedly missing for two days from his Basadi (monastery) at Nandi parvata in Belagavi. The police were made aware of the disappearance by the president of the Jain Charitable Trust of Hirekodi, Bheemappa Ugare. 

The subsequent investigation by the cops resulted in the interrogation of two suspects, one of whom was a worker in the monastery, sources close to the investigation revealed. The suspects confessed to the crime, and said that the body was chopped to pieces and disposed of in a bore well.

After a 10 hour-long search, the cops eventually found the body of the monk in a defunct borewell in Hirekodi, Chikkodi taluk of Belagavi district, chopped into pieces and wrapped in a plastic bag. Earthmovers were reportedly employed to retrieve the remains. 

Social Media Chatter Gives Communal Colour To Brutal Killing

The matter has given rise to hate mongering and misinformation online, with several users making exaggerated and communal claims over the incident, even as the authorities clarified that the motive behind the murder was financial. 

Meanwhile, several others took aim at the freebie culture in the state, somehow pinning it as the cause of the murder. 

Newschecker is closely monitoring social media conversations around the subject owing to its sensitive nature and the brutal aspect. This page will be updated with more relevant developments.

But Who Are The Killers? 

Quoting Belagavi SP Dr Sanjiv Patil, The Hindu  states that the main accused, Narayana Madi, was an acquaintance of the monk and lived in the same ashram. Madi reportedly confessed to the killing of Muni Kamkumar Nandi and disposing of the body with the help of an aide, who was identified by reports as one Hassan Dalayath. 

What Was The Motive Behind The Murder?

Sources closely linked to the probe revealed to Newschecker that according to prima facie evidence, the murder was over financial matters. During the investigation, it came to light that the monk had lent the main accused Rs 8 lakh, belonging to the Jain Trust. The monk had been insisting that the accused return the money, following which the accused Narayana Madi killed the monk. To get rid of the body, Narayana enlisted the help of Hassan Dalayath, who chopped up the body and helped dispose the body in a defunct borewell.

What Raised The Police Suspicion?

According to a report in The Hindu, “after the monk went missing, the accused too had joined them in the search. After getting suspicious, the police interrogated him, leading to his confession.”

Jain Monks, Opposition Call for Thorough Probe

Following the death of the Jain monk, BJP state president Naveen Kumar Kateel has called for a thorough probe into the matter and requested safety for the seers and monks in the state. The murder has also prompted Gunadhar Nandi Maharaj, another Jain seer from Varur, near Hubballi, to announce a fast-unto-death demanding a detailed probe into the matter and a written assurance promising increased security to Jain seers in the State.


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Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Ruby leads editorial, operations and initiatives at Newschecker. In her former avatar at New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s leading national news network, she was a news anchor, supervising producer and senior output editor. Her over a decade-long career encompasses ground-breaking reportage from conflict zones and reporting on terror incidents, election campaigns, and gender issues. Ruby is an Emmy-nominated producer and has handled both local and international assignments, including the coverage of Arab Spring in 2011, the US Presidential elections in 2016, and ground reportage on the Kashmir issue since 2009.

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