Karnataka youth’s death in Saudi Arabia: Family says it’s not a suicide, demands high level probe

News Network
September 5, 2021

Family members of an NRI from Karnataka, who was found dead in hanging condition at his residence in Riyadh, the capital city of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last month, have suspected foul play in the death. 

The mortal remains of Basavaraja Navi, 35, who originally hails from Sindhagi in Karnataka, was already airlifted to India with good help and support of the Indian Embassy in Riyadh. He had been working as a labourer for over two years in the kingdom. He was found dead on August 12 as reported by the Indian Embassy. 

The case was registered at the local jurisdictional police station in Riyadh. After a preliminary investigation and completion of all the legal formalities and procedures, the dead body was repatriated to Bengaluru and shifted to his hometown Malagan.

However, his family came forward raising a strong doubt over the cause of his death. They claim that it's not a case of suicide, but of a murder. They put forth their claims in defense saying that: 1) "We saw a mass of bruises and contusions all over the body when the body was lifted for the last funeral rites", 2) they also assert that the deceased didn't have any debt or loan either in the KSA or at his hometown owed to anybody that could lead him to take this extreme step, 3) he was in very good terms regularly keeping contacts with his family, parents and other blood relatives without any tensions and mental agony.

These three main factors his family raised show that it's not a case of natural death or suicide, but a case of murder as they believe.

The deceased’s family appealed both Karnataka state and central govt and other concerned authorities to investigate into this case and dispense justice. 

Riyadh-based Udupi lawyer and social worker, Adv. P.A. Hameed Padubidri, who works for a Defense company in Riyadh and has been working for the various social and humanitarian causes of the NRIs in general and Kannadigas in particular in the KSA for the past 17  years, also pleaded both State and Central Governments and Indian Mission in Riyadh to consider the family's above claim is true to the fact & to look into this case thoroughly. 

He further advises that, for the local enquiry purpose, a team should be formed headed by the concerned Taluk Tahsildar to investigate their assertion and to provide justice justly. 

Since the deceased's family hails from a poor background & the widow with three children are facing a acute financial problem with the loss of their main bread-earner, the bereaved family should also be given proper compensation & equity from the CM's emergency fund, district administration emergency fund & also the Mission's ICWF. 

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News Network
July 31,2022

Mangaluru, Jul 31: The district administration has extended the evening prohibitory orders across Dakshina Kannada for two more days.

In the wake of serial communal killings, Deputy Commissioner Dr KV Rajendra on July 29 had issued an order to close all shops in the district from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. till August 1. 

However, following the request from the police department, the DC extended the same restrictions for two more days. 

Emergency services, hospitals, medical shops will be exempted from the order and can function normally.

The DC has also directed local authorities to keep a watch on shops in their respective jurisdiction.

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News Network
August 10,2022

Bengaluru, Aug 10: Accusing the Opposition Congress of unnecessarily raking up the issue of Karnataka Chief Minister replacement, to cover up the rift within, senior BJP leader and Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Wednesday challenged the grand old party to name its CM candidate for 2023 Assembly polls.

Ruling out Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's replacement, he said BJP's top leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have already said that the election will be under Bommai's leadership and the party will abide by it. The minister was reacting to Congress's series of tweets on Tuesday speculating about Chief Minister Bommai being replaced and even calling him a "Puppet CM".

"To cover up their infighting that has come on to the streets, Congress is spreading false information that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will be replaced. Congress has no base in the country, what rights do they have to speak about BJP's leadership and CM change," Ashoka said.

Speaking to reporters, he said, Congress have not been able to appoint their party's national president, and are today talking about chief minister change in the BJP government. "Did Amit Shah or the Prime Minister tell you (about CM change)? Things have rotten within your own party because of your infighting, clear it first.....There will be neither CM change nor will BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel be replaced, we will go to polls under their leadership," he added.

There has been some buzz on and off within the state BJP in recent times, regarding some kind of an overhaul including at the top level, especially after the recent visit of Amit Shah to the state.

Ashoka, further challenging the Congress party said, "Our Chief Minister is Basavaraj Bommai, if you have guts, courage and morality will you be able to tell who is your Chief Minister candidate? Question yourself about it, you don't have courage to announce, but you want to speak about others."

He also said that Congress fears getting split on making such an announcement. Ashoka noted that the internal rift been Congress leaders like Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar, Mallikarjun Kharge, G Parameshwara and M B Patil, has come out in open after the Siddaramaiah's 75th birthday event at Davangere.

To counter Siddaramaiah's event, Shivakumar is organising a march in the name of 75th Independence Day, to prove his strength, he said. "It has also come to our notice that the native Congress leaders have held a meeting expressing their displeasure about Siddaramaiah's birthday event ," he said, adding that instead of going to flood affected areas Congress leaders are involved in such things.

Former BJP MLA B Suresh Gowda's recent statement indicating some changes that the high command will take a call on replacing the chief minister and other matters in the interest of the party and to win the elections in future, had added to the speculations. However, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel rejected it by stating that Bommai would complete his tenure. 

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News Network
August 9,2022

bhaskarshetty.jpg

Udupi, Aug 9: The Supreme Court of India has disapproved categorically the practice of considering evidence while granting bail, or suspending a sentence, while expunging the observations made by the Karnataka High Court while granting bail to the woman who was convicted of murdering her husband, Bhaskar Shetty, a businessman from Udupi. 

The murder, when it came to light, had made headlines across the country.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and P S Narasimha agreed with the contention, made by advocate Sanjay M Nuli on behalf of the victim’s mother Gulabi Shetty, that the High Court went into the issues of the validity of the ‘Will’, which was completely unrelated to the proceedings before it.

“The High Court has grossly erred in granting suspension of sentence in such a serious crime,” Nuli argued, contending that the high court went on to decide the matter as if it was deciding an appeal.

Concurring with his contention, the bench said: “We are in full agreement with the counsel for the petitioner that the High Court has totally erred in making an elaborate discussion of the evidence. This Court has time and again observed that courts should avoid elaborate appreciation of the evidence at the stage of grant of bail.”

The bench also observed that it was “totally unwarranted” of the high court “to have made a detailed elaboration of an evidence” while granting bail.

“We, therefore, expunge all the observations made by the High Court wherever it has re-appreciated the evidence in detail and clarify that the order would be construed as a prima facie consideration of the evidence for grant of suspension of sentence,” the bench said.

The apex court, however, also said it did not find anything wrong in allowing the application filed by the convict Rajeshwari Shetty, for suspension of her sentence, as the case was based on circumstantial evidence.

The top court also directed the high court's bench, which would hear the appeal on merits, not to take into consideration any of the observations the lower court made in its order on December 23, 2021.

It also requested the high court to expedite the hearing of the appeal.

“In case the petitioner does not cooperate with expeditious disposal of the matter, the High Court would be at liberty to take appropriate steps,” the Supreme Court ruled.

The trial court, on June 8, 2021, had convicted the victim’s wife Rajeshwari, their son, and the wife's alleged paramour for murdering Bhaskar Shetty, who ran a business in Saudi Arabia and owned a hotel in Udupi, and burning his body in a “homa kund” in 2016, and sentenced the three to life imprisonment.

The prosecution claimed that Rajeshwari, along with her 20-year-old son Navneet, threw chili powder into her husband’s eyes and assaulted him with a rod. Thereafter, the two tied the victim’s hands and feet, and poisoned him. Later, they carried the body to another location and burnt it by organising a ‘yagna’. To further destroy the evidence, they threw the bones and remains into a river.

Bhaskar suspected Rajeshwari of adultery and had lodged a police complaint with Manipal police station on July 9, 2016; he was murdered on July 28. The police unearthed the murder while acting upon a missing person’s complaint filed by Gulabi.

The prosecution relied upon a DNA report to conclude the recovered body parts were that of the complainant’s son.

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