Karnataka HC denies bail to Udupi quadruple murder accused

The victim had later blocked his WhatsApp number and all text messages had not reached her.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court rejected the bail petition filed by the accused in the Udupi quadruple murder case, considering the technical evidence relied on by the prosecution.

Justice MG Uma passed the order dismissing the petition of Praveen Arun Chougule (40) from Mangaluru, saying he is not entitled for bail, considering the seriousness of the offence. The accused, who was an employee at a private airline when the crime took place, was arrested on November 15, 2023, for murdering Aynaz, an air hostess, and three of her family members. A chargesheet against Chougule was filed by the Malpe police. “Even though there are no eyewitnesses to the incident, the prosecution is relying on all these circumstantial evidence, which are strong enough to point an accusing finger at the accused at this stage. The prosecution is also relying on CCTV footage showing the movement of the accused,” said Justice Uma, while rejecting bail.

As per the submission made by Additional State Public Prosecutor Jagadeesha BN and government advocate Rahul Rai K, the accused was identified in the test identification parade, the sketch matched with him by up to 98 per cent, his hair sample found on one of the bodies matched with his DNA, and his blood-stained clothes matched the DNA of the deceased. Also, the car of the accused, which had a location tracker, showed the movement of the vehicle on the day of the incident and the previous day, when he had gone near the house of the victims. There was also an exchange of audio, photo and text messages between the petitioner and one of the deceased whom he liked. The victim had later blocked his WhatsApp number and all text messages had not reached her.

Chougule went in his car to a toll plaza, took a bus to Santhekatte and then went in an auto-rickshaw to the house of the deceased. After he murdered Aynaz, her elder sister Afnan chanced upon him, so he stabbed her to death. The mother of the deceased, Haseena, was also killed. When the accused went out of the house, the brother of the deceased, Aseem, aged 14, came to the spot and was killed.

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