Escaped rape and murder accused arrested, four policemen suspended
UDUPI: Udupi police, on Monday, April 1, arrested Hanumantha Basappa Kamballi, who had escaped from police custody. He is an accused of raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl. Four policemen have also been suspended for their negligence.
39-year-old Basappa had run away from the police’s grip, on Sunday, March 31, while he was on his way back to Hiriadka jail after being given judicial custody of 14 days by the Magistrate Court.
Nisha James, Superintendent of Police, Udupi told The Manipal Journal (TMJ) that the accused was caught in Pernankila village near Hiriadka. She confirmed that the police was able to trace the accused with the help of local residents of the area. “He was caught at Pernankila village which is approximately four kilometres from Hiriadka jail. We had gotten full support from the local residents as they were with us through the search operation. And, it was important to have local assistance as the area is forested,” she said.
She further informed, “One person had contacted us after he spotted him drinking water in the area, and another lady followed him from a distance and reached out to us with the exact location. He was wearing a blue t-shirt that he had stolen from a local worker, who had hung it out to dry. Two locals named Shailesh Shetty and Atish Shetty had given us the tip regarding that t-shirt and he was caught wearing the same t-shirt. All these tips were very helpful in the operation.”
A special police team was formed immediately after his escape. His pictures were circulated in the area and the SP had also urged the local public to inform the police in case the accused was seen.
When asked if any action was taken against the policemen who were responsible for escorting the accused to jail, she told that the four policemen including one head constable, two constables, and one driver had been suspended. “Further inquiry has been ordered,” she said.
The 39-year-old resident of Bagalkot district was initially arrested on March 29 and booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 376 A, 366A and 302, and section 6 of POCSO Act, for allegedly raping and murdering a young girl at Moodu Sagri forest area near Manipal on March 10.
A police official, who wishes not to be named, told TMJ that the accused had lured the girl with the assurance of a job and took her to the forest area. After allegedly committing the crime, he killed her by strangling her with a dupatta as she threatened him of informing the police, added the official.
The girl, who was a resident of Udupi, had gone missing on March 9 and her body was spotted by local residents of Moodu Sagri village.
Featured Image Courtesy: TMJ Archives
Edited by: Karthika Venugopal