BENGALURU: Barely five days after a couple was killed and their bodies thrown into the Cauvery river near Mandya over alleged opposition to their inter-caste marriage, a 27-year-old cab owner, Harish, was hacked to death allegedly for the same reason. Harish, who belonged to Nayaka caste had got married to his school heartthrob Meenakshi, who belongs to Thigala caste, eight months ago despite her family’s opposition to their alliance.
Police said, as per the complaint received, Harish had been reportedly warned by Meenakshi’s brother against marrying her. And when he did marry her against the family’s wishes, Harish was allegedly told a few months ago that he would be killed. Meenakshi is expecting their first child.The body of Harish, a resident of Bidarahalli (Bidhanuru) near Devanahalli, was found on Wednesday near a farm in Nallur village, 16km from Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) after he went missing the previous day.
Villagers who found Harish’s body alerted the jurisdictional Channarayapatna police on Wednesday morning, who have conducted preliminary investigations, a senior police officer said.After Harish went missing on Tuesday, his family and friends had launched a search for him. After the murder came to light, Harish’s father Muni Anjanappa filed a police complaint, based on which the Channarayapatna police launched a probe.
When the police learnt about the threats to Harish from Meenakshi’s family, she reportedly told the police that her brother had killed him. The police, on questioning her brother Naveen Kumar, were told that it was his elder brother Vinay Kumar (22) who had killed Harish as he was the one who had issued death threats. Vinay Kumar, an unemployed youth, has been taken into custody and has reportedly recorded his statement with the police.
However, Naveen Kumar’s suspected role in the murder is yet to be ascertained. Ganesh Nayak, an uncle of Harish, said Naveen Kumar was with Harish on Tuesday when the couple had come to Nalluru to pay chit fund money. Harish also wanted to get his Aadhaar card. When Harish later went missing, his relatives searched for him in Devanahalli and nearby areas. It was then that Naveen Kumar allegedly started misleading Harish’s family members saying he would return on his own and that there was no need to look for him. Harish’s family members suspect it to be part of a well-planned murder.
When Harish was targeted by Meenakshi’s family, he had approached the police and a police officer had warned her family to stay away from him. Harish and Meenakshi were in love since high school and got their marriage registered in March. According to Harish’s family members, when Meenakshi’s family came to know of it, they told Harish they would arrange a function in a convention hall. Instead, they began forcing her to divorce Harish as they wanted to find another groom for her.