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Karnataka govt hands over rape and murder case to CBI

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Davanagere: In the face of continuous protests, Karnataka government has decided to hand over to CBI a case regarding alleged rape and murder of a 17-year old girl in Dakshina Kannada district a year ago.

“Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has taken a decision to hand over the high-profile case to the Central Bureau of Investigation,” Home Minister K J George told reporters after a review meeting with the district police here.

The girl was found raped and murdered at Pangala near Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada district on October 12 last year.

The clamour for a CBI probe intensified after various organisations, together with the girl’s family, charged the CID with ‘shielding’ the real culprits with high connections and staged continuous protests demanding justice.

The CID, in its 15-page report submitted to government recently, had held that Santosh Rao, arrested soon after the incident, was guilty and gave a clean chit to Nischal Jain, nephew of Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr D Veerendra Heggade, and three others –Mallik Jain, Uday Kella and Dheeraj Jain.

Harshendra Kumar, brother of Heggade, had appeared before the CID and presented records, including passport, visa and bank transactions of his son (Nischal Jain) in the US to show he was not in the country when the crime was committed.

Earlier this week, Heggade, while rejecting allegations of involvement of his kin, had written a letter to Siddaramaiah seeking a CBI inquiry into the case.

The girl’s uncle Vittal Gowda expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s decision and said the case should be handled by a committee monitored by the Supreme Court.”I don’t know whether CBI will conduct the probe without any political influence or pressure. The Supreme Court should give directions to form a committee and monitor the investigations,” he said.

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