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Karnataka High Court denies bail to man accused of killing airhostess, 3 kin in Udupi

Praveen Arun Chougule was arrested on November 15, 2023 and is in judicial custody since. He moved the court seeking bail on the ground that a chargesheet has been filed in the case.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 17:00 IST

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has denied bail to Praveen Arun Chougule, accused in the gruesome murder of four members of a family at Nejaru in Udupi district. The accused had targeted his colleague, one of the members of the family whom he liked.

Praveen Arun Chougule was arrested on November 15, 2023 and is in judicial custody since. He moved the court seeking bail on the ground that a chargesheet has been filed in the case. Chougule, who was working as a senior cabin crew member of an airline, has been charged under IPC sections 302, 307, 324, 449 and 201 for killing his colleague Ainaz, her mother Haseena and her siblings Afnan and Aaseem. Ainaz’s grandmother Hazeera got injured but survived the attack.

On the day of the murder, Praveen Chougule had parked his car at a toll plaza and took a bus to Santhekatte. He then hired an autorickshaw to reach the house of the deceased. The chargesheet stated that he had a liking towards his colleague Ainaz, however, she was not entertaining him. Opposing the bail petition, Additional Special Public Prosecutor Jagadeesha BN submitted that the hair sample found on one of the dead bodies was matching with the DNA of the petitioner.

The court noted that three witnesses had identified the accused. The court also pointed out the circumstance relied upon by the prosecution that Chougule’s car, which was fit with inbuilt location tracker, showed his exact movement on the date of the incident as well as on the previous day when he had gone near the house of the deceased.

“The technical evidence relied on by the prosecution discloses that there was an exchange of audio, photo and text messages between the petitioner and one of the deceased whom he liked. But it is stated that the girl i.e., the deceased had blocked his WhatsApp number and all the text messages have not reached her. It is also stated that the accused had contacted the sister of the deceased just before the incident,” Justice Uma said.

The court further said, “The accused not only killed the girl he liked, he also murdered her mother, sister and 14-year-old younger brother. The grandmother was injured. The court has pointed out that the DNA report regarding the hair sample obtained at the house of the victims and the identification by three charge sheet witnesses as well as CCTV footage of nearby indicate the movement as well presence of petitioner - accused and hence bail cannot be granted.”

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Published 02 July 2024, 17:00 IST

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