HONNAVAR: August 21 was the birthday of Paresh Mesta, who was found murdered at Honnavar in December last year. It was a sad day for his family members, who have been struggling emotionally and financially. They are keeping alive Paresh’s memories by tattooing his portrait and name on their arms.
On December 6, following clashes between two communities, the 18-year-old went missing. His body was found in a lake in Honnavar town two days later.
The body had turned unusually black, which led to speculations that he was murdered after torture. The death of Paresh, the mystery of which remains unsolved even today, had led to protests in Uttara Kannada district. It took a political angle after the then ruling Congress claimed that Paresh “probably died due to drowning”. After the BJP launched protests in Sirsi and Kumta, the government handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
“It’s a sad moment as we are holding the birth anniversary of my brother instead of his birthday. His friends and family members celebrated his birthday at Durga Keri in the town. If he were alive, he would have turned 19,” said his father Kamalakar Mesta.
Rahul Mesta, the elder brother of Paresh, showed a tattoo of Paresh’s face inked on his left arm. Kamalakar Mesta too got a similar tattoo. Rukma, Paresh’s mother, tattooed ‘Paresh’ on her hand. “Paresh was our last child and most beloved son. He was murdered for no reasons. For his memory, we got tattoos on our hands,” said Kamalakar Mesta.
Police did not act on time, says father
Honnavar: Several theories were doing the rounds after the body of Paresh Mesta was found. Some suspected kidnapping while his family complained to the police claiming he was murdered. His father Kamalakar Mesta, who lodged a complaint with the local police, also named five suspects in the case. “If the police had acted on time after Paresh went missing, my son would have been alive today,” said Kamalakar Mesta. “The government kept claiming that my son’s death was natural though evidence suggested otherwise. Many said my son died due to drowning, but he was a good swimmer as he was into fishing,” said Kamalakar.