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Tension during protest over Raichur student’s death

A protest by various organisations before the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Haveri on Thursday seeking justice for the suspicious death of an engineering student led to some anxious moments for the administration with the situation turning tense. However, it was immediately brought under control by the police.

Tension heightened after Guru, president of the Vishwakarma Samaj, suffered a minor injury after he was allegedly hit by a stone by miscreants, and Maruti Badiger, vice-president of the samaj, attempted self-immolation by pouring kerosene over himself. Both were rushed to hospital immediately.

Amid the melee, some of the protesters tried to forcefully enter the premises of the Deputy Commissioner’s office. However, they were thwarted in their attempt and the police had to cane the protesters to disperse them. A few protesters even threw water bottles and shouted slogans at the police.

Superintendent of Police D. Kishore Babu told The Hindu that one stone might have been thrown, but the situation could not be termed stone-pelting.

Earlier, the protesters, who were joined by Kannada film actors Harshika Poonacha and Bhuvan, marched from Manikprabhu temple to the Deputy Commissioner’s office. They demanded an impartial probe to bring other culprits to book and deliver justice to the victim’s family. Hundreds of shops run by the community of goldsmiths downed their shutters in protest and several hundred people from the community took part in the protest.

Receiving the memorandum from the protesters, Deputy Commissioner Sharat B. assured them that necessary action would be taken.

The 23-year-old-girl, who went missing on April 13, was found dead near Hanumappa temple two day later. The Netaji Nagar Police had registered a suicide case based on the reported note found near the body, but subsequently cases were registered under section 302 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code after the girl’s parents alleged that she was raped and murdered. One of the accused has been arrested. As reports on the incident went viral on social media, a special team, headed by the Deputy Superintendent of Police Raichur, Sheelawant, was formed to take up the investigation. Subsequently, following pressure from women’s organisations and students’ organisations, the State government handed over the case to the CID. A team, led by Superintendent of Police of CID Sharanappa, has already commenced investigation into the case.

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