Harlapur case a murder, not accident; six held

The car driver fled the scene and Belagavi North Traffic police registered a hit-and-run case.
Representative Image
Representative Image

BELAGAVI: Police investigation revealed that the death of a chief deputy pharmacist of the district hospital, after being hit by a speeding car in Belagavi recently, was not just a road accident but murder. Police arrested six accused in connection with the case.

It may be recalled that Virupakshappa K Harlapur (60), a native of Dharwad, was killed after a car hit him near Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences in Belagavi, on May 30. Harlapur was walking on the main road when a speeding car heading from Kittur Rani Channamma Circle to Kolhapur Cross, hit him. Harlapur was severely injured in the accident, and succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment in hospital. The car driver fled the scene and Belagavi North Traffic police registered a hit-and-run case.

Police sources said that during investigation, they went through CCTV footage and identified the vehicle involved. They later discovered the car in a garage in the city. They also found clues suggesting that it was not an accident, but a murder case, prompting Belagavi North traffic police inspector Pralhad Channagiri to hand over the case to APMC police on June 4.

Based on clues provided by the traffic police, APMC police commenced investigation and arrested six accused. The prime accused was identified as Basavaraj Yallappa Bhagwati (50), a native of Dharwad, while the others are Prakash Rathod (41), Sachin Chandrakant Patil (40), Ravi Basu Kumbargi (28), Mahesh Sidaram Sunkad (24) and Ramu Lagama Vantamuri (28), all residents of Kangrali Budruk village in Belagavi taluk. An illicit relationship is said to be the reason behind the murder.

According to police sources, this is not the first time the accused had attempted to murder Harlapur. They had tried to kill him in a similar manner on June 15, 2023, but he had escaped with minor injuries. A case was also registered with the traffic police.

A year later, the accused targeted Harlapur and succeeded in killing him. Harlapur died a day before his retirement, APMC police inspector Khaja Hussain said.

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