Coach drowns; wife alleges he was killed

Swimmers body was found in sub-canal near Mysore

 
J Manjunath (45), son of Jawaregowda, was a swimming coach at Malnad College of Engineering in Hassan. He was in the City as his daughter was scheduled to take part in the Dasara swimming competitions from Wednesday.

Manjunath’s wife Suchitra claimed that her husband, who was a swimmer of national repute in his earlier days, could not have drowned.

‘He was murdered’

She alleged that her husband had been done to death by Guruprasad, a coach working at the swimming pool of the University of Mysore in Saraswathipuram.  She said that her daughter Aishwarya (13) was to take part in the Dasara sports. Aishwarya’s friend Chaturya (14), who was Manjunath’s student, was also scheduled to compete.

Suchitra alleged that Chaturya’s mother, Nirmala P Dev, wanted Guruprasad to impress upon Manjunath not to field Aishwarya, who has competed in seven national tournaments, and missed the bronze by a whisker in Delhi recently. Nirmala had sensed a threat from Aishwarya to her daughter’s career.

Guruprasad knew Nirmala P Dev from the time he was a coach at the swimming pool of the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation in Hubli. Nirmala’s son was under Guruprasad’s tutelage.

Manjunath’s family had come to Mysore early, to attend a relative’s marriage. They were staying at Suchitra’s elder sister Rekha’s house in KHB colony, Hootagalli.

Suchitra alleged that, her husband received a call from Guruprasad on his cellphone on Monday afternoon. Guruprasad wanted Manjunath to come to his house in Gokulam. Suchitra had dropped her husband at Gokulam and returned to her sister’s house.

At about 7.15 pm, Suchitra received a call from her husband’s cellphone. When Suchitra’s nephew Chetan answered the call, Guruprasad allegedly told him that his uncle had drowned in the Varuna canal on Mysore-Bangalore Road. Guruprasad claimed that the incident occurred when he and two of his friends, Jayaprakash and Arun Kumar, were swimming with Manjunath. Suchitra has lodged a complaint at N R Police station.

Case registered

The body was retrieved at Dandikere, 40 km away from the spot where Manjunath allegedly drowned, on Tuesday.

A postmortem was conducted at the mortuary attached to the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC and RI). The Mysore south police have registered the case under section 174 (C) (unnatural death under suspicion) of IPC. When contacted by Deccan Herald, Nirmala, who is in Hassan, flatly denied the charges levelled against her.

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