Nearly a month after he succumbed to injuries, two men were arrested on Thursday for the murder of the father of an RTI activist in Kukanooru village, located in Koppala district’s Yelaburga taluk.
The severe assault came after the activist, Eeranna Vanigeri, had sought information on the projects undertaken by the Kukanooru gram panchayat member, Devendrappa Sobanaga in late September 2016.
“I had sought the information on the suspicion that Devendrappa was corrupt. On October 6, 2016, Devendrappa Sobanaga and his close friend Sahachara Shekappa had set out to look for me. They stormed into my house in the evening, with the assumption that I would be there. However, aside from my father, there was no one else. They vandalised my home and beat up my father. He was unable to move,” said Eeranna.
Eeranna’s father developed gangrene, as the wounds did not heal properly, and he was admitted to Bengaluru’s KIMS hospital in December 2016.
“The doctors had to cut off his right leg, but he did not recover. He succumbed on December 31 at the hospital,” Eeranna added.
Eeranna had filed an FIR against Devendrappa and Shekappa with the Kukanooru police on October 6, 2016 for assault. The accused had then absconded.
Eeranna alleges that Sobanaga is a close aide of Minister in-charge of Koppala district, Basavaraj Rayareddy. He also claims that the police did nothing to nab Devendrappa, even though they knew of his whereabouts.
“I believe that the police were under severe political pressure, which is why no arrests were made. A few police officers were transferred and the new Inspector of Yelaburga had taken charge of the case this month. They nabbed Devendrappa and Shekappa in Bagalkot. I am thankful for the honest work done by the Inspector and I am confident that justice will be served,” Eeranna said.
Responding to Eeranna’s allegation, Minister Rayareddy said that he had no connection to the case. “I have many followers and many people look up to me but that does not mean that I am involved in a murder. If any criminal activities come to light, then I offer my support for taking stringent action against those involved,” said Rayareddy.
The Koppala SP refused to comment on the issue.