Bangalore, September 24: Two youths were stabbed to death after a Ganesha procession turned violent in Banaswadi police limits on Sunday night.
The victims are Karthik, 19, and Keshava, 18, both residents of Janakiram Layout, Maruthi Seva Nagar in Banaswadi.
The police have arrested nine people in connection with the incident. They are: Bheemaraj, Pushti, Bharat, Dilip, Suresh, Anand, Saravana, Chandrashekhar and Vijay, all aged between 20 and 25, and residents of Janakiram Layout.
According to police, the incident took place at 11.30 pm in front of St Paul’s School in ‘A’ Block, Janakiram Layout. A group of around 30 youths were carrying a Ganesha idol in a procession for immersion in Ulsoor lake. All were dancing and singing in the procession. Keshava accidentally stepped on a youth’s foot, triggering an argument with him.
According to police, the youth began to threaten Keshava with dire consequences.
Karthik intervened and attempted to defuse the situation. But the situation took a turn for the worse when more youths joined the argument and accosted Keshava and Karthik, police added.
According to Shyam, an eyewitness, the youths prevented Keshava and Karthik from moving with the procession.
“They provoked the two young men and challenged them to defend themselves. The procession moved on for some distance and the youths forced Keshava and Karthik towards a lane near the school and began to beat them. All of them had knives and one of them slashed Keshava’s throat; another stabbed Karthik from behind.”
Several local residents rushed the injured youths to Bowring Hospital where they were declared brought dead, police said.
Doctors at Bowring Hospital said the victims sustained deep cuts and suffered massive internal bleeding, which resulted in their deaths.
Keshava’s father, Ravi, a flower merchant in the City Market, expressed shock at learning of his son’s death.
“I had returned from the market at 9.30 pm and had gone to bed after my son went out for the procession. I was shocked to hear the news when a few of my son’s friends rushed back to tell me what had happened. I don’t know what triggered the incident. He was a painter in Maruthi Seva Nagar,” he said. Keshava was Ravi’s only son.
Karthik’s mother Vijaya, a domestic helper in KHB Colony, Lingarajapuram, said Karthik was her only son. “I was happy to see my son dance in the procession,” she said, speaking to Deccan Herald. “I asked him to give me some money. He gave me Rs 150 and I left. I never knew that would be our last meeting.”
According to police, the suspects were allegedly under the influence of alcohol. Police are still verifying the details. The bodies were handed over to the relatives after a postmortem at Bowring Hospital.