Kundapur: The Dharwad bench of the Karnataka high court has upheld the acquittal order passed by the Karwar district court in the rape and murder case of a girl at Hiredhomi, Murdeshwar in 2010.
The court observed that the possibility of false implication of the accused cannot be ruled out and also ordered reinvestigation into the case.
Venkatesh Harikant, 35, was sent to Karwar District Jail in 2010 on charges of sexually assaulting and murdering a maid.
On October 23, 2010, Yamuna Naik, who was employed as a maid in the house of Mohammed Sadik was found murdered under mysterious circumstances in Mururdeshwar.
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The woman’s body was found covered with wooden logs in the house owner’s shed. Two youths were staying in the house since its owner and family were away from the town.
Nagappa Naik, the father of the victim, lodged a complaint against nine people belonging to another religion in the FIR. The name of the owner of the house and his son where his daughter was employed was mentioned in it. Rama Sene activists held a protest in Bhatkal condemning the rape and murder.
However, Police took Venkatesh into custody four days after the incident only because his motorbike was found parked in front of the house where the woman was found dead.
Venkatesh alleged that a few are trying to frame him to avoid a riot in Bhatkal and also accused police officers of torturing and pressuring him to confess to the crime he hadn’t committed.
Venkatesh’s semen samples and a strand of hair found on the body of the victim were sent to the FSL in Manipal. In 2011, the FSL gave a clean chit to Venkatesh, saying the semen found on the body of the victim was more than 48 hours before her death and didn’t match with that of the accused. The Karwar district court acquitted him of the charges after examining 51 witnesses in the case over seven years.
Venkatesh’s wife Mahadevi took the matter to court with the help of her brother Balakrishna. Sri Rama Sene founder president Pramod Mutalik and Kundapur-based advocate Ravikiran Murdeshwar helped them in fighting for justice.
The high court bench has now upheld the acquittal of Venkatesh and has appointed Murdeshwar PSI as the investigating officer and ordered reinvestigations. The court said that the victim will get justice only when the real suspects in the case are arrested.
The court has ordered to question and collect hair, blood, nails and semen samples of the suspects mentioned in the FIR, namely, Mohammed Sadik Donya, Kasif Mohammed, Mohammed Nasir, Yasin Shaikh, Neelagiri Siddi Mohammed, Habib Shaikh and Anda Nasir Shaikh.