Kodagu clash: 'VHP man fell to death trying to escape stone-throwing'

Kodagu clash: 'VHP man fell to death trying to escape stone-throwing'

The police on Thursday submitted the preliminary charge sheet against nine people in the case relating to the death of Devapanda Kuttappa, the organising secretary of the VHP, during the Tipu Jayanti celebrations.

The charge sheet states that Kuttappa died after he fell on a cement drain, to a depth of 18 feet while trying to escape from the stone-throwing mob during the celebrations organised by the government here on November 10 last year.

The suspects are all from Kodagu district. They are: T A Khalid from Arekadu, Abdul Gafoor and C T Faizal from Nelyahudikeri, K Y Razak from Valnur Tyagattur (all of whom have been arrested), Akbar Ali and Shamsheer from Nelyahudikeri, Ashraf from Valnur Tyagattur, Saifuddin from Ponnattamotte and Shahul Hameed from Guddugadde (all absconding).

They have been charged under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC. Kuttappa had died during stone-throwing near the women and child department of the district hospital.

Inspector Medappa of the Madikeri City station submitted the charge sheet to the sessions court. The charge sheet says that a group of 300 members was on its way to the Cauvery Kalakshetra where the celebrations had been organised, when the stone-throwing happened.

The miscreants entered the hospital premises and started throwing stones. They then surrounded Kuttappa and manhandled him. He fell to his death when he started running to escape from the mob.

The police had earlier registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC (murder). They later changed it to Section 304, after investigation, stating that the stone-throwing was not aimed at killing Kuttappa, but that the stone-throwing incident had resulted in his death. Cases have also been registered under Sections 143, 144, 147, 148, 323 and 324 of the IPC.

Kuttappa’s son Dolly had named Amin Mohsin, president of the district unit of the SDPI, and others in his complaint, saying they were responsible for his father’s death. But they have been left out of the charge sheet due to lack of evidence. The charge sheet is based on circumstantial evidence and CCTV footage.

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