Amid Shock Over ‘Kill Mercilessly’ Comment, Kumaraswamy’s Bizarre Defence

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HD Kumaraswamy was heard speaking to most likely to a senior police officer.

Bengaluru: 

After a huge backlash over his “kill mercilessly” comment in response to the murder of a party worker on Monday, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has offered many explanations. In the latest, he blames it on a slip.

Mr Kumaraswamy, 59, was on Monday caught on tape telling someone – apparently a senior police officer – to “mercilessly kill” those who had hacked to death a local leader of the Janata Dal Secular or JDS. “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,” he was heard saying in a mobile video recorded by journalists.

Since then, he has repeatedly described it as an emotional outburst.

Today, he said: “In an emotional state of mind, instead of saying smoke out, I said shoot out.”

Mr Kumaraswamy’s predecessor BS Yeddyurappa of the BJP said he should apologise for the comment. The state BJP tweeted that for Mr Kumaraswamy, all that mattered was his party. 

As his words provoked sharp and widespread criticism, the Chief Minister on Monday evening defended himself.

“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,” Mr Kumaraswamy said.

The JDS worker, H Prakash, was hacked to death in Mandya in south Karnataka, reportedly by four men on motorcycles who chased his SUV, forced it to stop and attacked him with machetes.

The killers left him slumped inside the car, soaked in his blood.

The Chief Minister’s office later sent a statement: “Prakash was a loyal party worker. The district police have been directed to take steps to arrest the accused.”

Mr Kumaraswamy became chief minister of Karnataka in May after forming an alliance with the Congress following elections that threw up a hung verdict.



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