Mandya: Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has courted controversy, caught on camera instructing someone over the phone to "kill mercilessly" those who murdered JD(S) leader Prakash.  Later, Kumaraswamy clarified what he said, claiming that he didn't issue the order as a chief minister.

However, Kumaraswamy said that the statement was made on the spur of the moment and was not an order passed by him as a chief minister. In a video that went viral on social media, Kumaraswamy was heard saying, "He (Prakash) was a good man. I do not know why they killed him. Shoot them (killers) mercilessly, no problem."

Clarifying the statement, the chief minister said to media, "It was not my order, I was emotional at that moment. They are the reason for the 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 the bail order."

Kumaraswamy also said he had instructed the police to take all necessary action to ensure that such incidents do not repeat in the state. "And the words used during the conversation on this case is an emotional response, not an order. I have made it clear it does not need any special interpretation," he added.

Meanwhile, BJP has raised its ante against HD Kumaraswamy, demanding an apology from him. "I demand an apology from Kumaraswamy. Being a chief minister, he can't issue such statements/orders. Later, he said he didn't issue the order as the chief minister. What is that? He must apologise," said BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa.

Unidentified assailants had murdered Prakash, a JD(S) leader and husband of former zilla panchayat president while he was travelling in his car in Maddur town in Mandya district, Karnataka.

Prakash was taken immediately to the hospital where doctors declared him dead. His supporters blocked Mysuru-Bangaluru highway, demanding the arrest of the culprits. Police have registered the case and have started the investigation.