New names may crop up in Handibag suicide case

Sources say some well-known people are trying to save VHP activist Praveen Khandya, the prime accused in the case

Published: 05th August 2016 05:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2016 05:24 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: The investigation into the DySP Kallappa Handibag suicide case is leading investigators to big names in Chikkamagaluru district.

“Some well-known people are trying to save Praveen Khandya, who is still on the run,” a police source said. Khandya, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad activist, is the prime accused in the case.

Handibag, who rose from humble origins to bag a police job, committed suicide on July 5 after he was dubbed a kidnapper who had extorted money from a businessman. His parents blamed his immediate boss, Superintendent of Police Santosh Babu, for the death.

The government ordered a CID investigation when the case hit the headlines. In its preliminary investigations, the CID has found that Handibag did not know that Thejas Gowda, the businessman he was escorting, had been kidnapped.

“He was just doing what he was told, and collecting money on someone’s orders,” the source said.

On July 28, Thejas Gowda returned to Chikkamagaluru after paying a ransom of Rs 10 lakh through a friend, and approached a top police officer.

“Khandya was aware Thejas Gowda had met the top police officer and sensed the issue would spin out of control. He was afraid he would be named in the case,” the source said.

Thejas Gowda is known as a right-wing Hindu leader in the Chikkamagaluru belt.

On June 29, some extreme Hindu groups had attempted to attack unauthorised slaughter houses. Khandya was allegedly hoping there would be violence and a public uproar.

However, a fair was under way, and an alert police averted a clash.

Though Thejas Gowda and the others who knew about the case had expected the suspension of Handibag, they had never imagined he would commit suicide.

“Handibag’s contact with Khandya and Thejas Gowda was restricted to his duty of maintaining communal harmony. He had been in touch with Thejas Gowda when he had to hold peace talks between communities,” the source said.

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