Thirthahalli (Shivamogga dist): The town, still recovering from the death of 14-year-old girl Nanditha K B, is tense again after a fire gutted the grocery shop owned by her father, T G Krishnappa, in the early hours of Friday.
According to local residents, the incident took place at around 2.30 am. Noticing flames, they informed Krishnappa and tried to douse the fire. However, grocery items worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed. The fire started at the back of the shop, while the front door remained intact. The Thirthahalli police have registered a case.
The fire incident comes close on the heels of the CID submitting an interim report stating that Nanditha committed suicide by consuming a poisonous substance, unable to cope with English medium education. She was a class 8 student at the government high school in the town. Her father had lodged a complaint alleging abduction, molestation and murder on October 31. But the police ruled out all these allegations.
Superintendent of Police Kaushlendra Kumar visited the shop at 5 am on Friday. He said, “The investigation is on and two teams have been formed to nab those responsible. Nobody has been arrested so far. Security has been beefed up in the town.”
With regard to the fire, he said, “Short circuit is not the cause at all. It seems like some miscreants have done this deliberately. We will find out the truth shortly.”
As news of the fire spread, a crowd gathered at the shop. Heated arguments were exchanged between Irfan, who was interrogated in the Nanditha case, and Krishnappa. It is said that they manhandled each other.
Bilkis Banu, Irfan’s wife, reportedly threw stones at Krishnappa’s family on the road. Vimala, Krishnappa’s wife, and her mother Girija sustained injuries in the incident. The police brought the situation under control. Both families have lodged police complaints against each other.
Krishnappa said that he has failed to get justice in the case relating to his daughter’s death. “Those who killed my daughter are being protected. I will meet the chief minister, seeking justice, soon.”
Incident echoes in Council In the Legislative Council in Belagavi, BJP members demanded that the police give protection to the parents of Nanditha.
Krishna Bhat and Ganesh Karnik raised the issue on Friday. They said that the police had failed to give adequate protection to the victim’s family. The shop owned by the girl’s father was set on fire and the family has lost its source of livelihood, they said. They demanded that the Nanditha murder case be handed over to the CBI for a probe.
Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya said Home Minister K J George would give a reply in the House on the matter.