11 Jul 2024  |   06:50am IST

Ponda Labourer’s murder: Police arrest Belagavi truck driver

Team Herald

MARGAO: In a breakthrough after 17 days, Maina-Curtorim police arrested a suspect, Vasudev Madar, 59, in the murder case of Kanhaiyakumar Mandal, a 32-year-old labourer from Bihar. Mandal’s body was found under mysterious circumstances at Loutolim around midnight on June 24. Initially registered as a hit-and-run accident, the case was reclassified as murder on July 6.

According to police sources, a team led by PSI Praful Giri was dispatched to Karnataka in search of the suspect. After contacting several individuals throughout the day, the team apprehended Madar in the village of Jaambhoti, Khanapur taluka, Belagavi district.

The police team seized the truck involved in the case and returned to Margao at 3 am, with the suspect and the truck. The truck owner was also summoned to the police station for further questioning. The breakthrough was achieved by reviewing CCTV footage and gathering relevant evidence. Kanhaiyakumar Mandal’s body was not identified until June 29. Initial investigations suggested a truck had run him over, but a sharp weapon cut on his neck indicated foul play. On July 6, Maina-Curtorim police had reclassified the case under Section 302 (murder) after initially registering it under Sections 279 and 304A of the IPC for rash and negligent driving and causing death.

On the day he died, Mandal, who was staying in Warkhande, Ponda, was picked up by Ponda police for creating a public disturbance – sources said he was mentally unsound and roaming naked. The case was riddled with procedural lapses, with Ponda police failing to document their interactions with Mandal in the police diary, leading to the suspension of Head Constable Ravindra P Naik, constables Ashwin V Sawant, and Pritesh M Prabhu for dereliction of duty as they had allegedly dropped Mandal near Borim bridge, instead of admitting him somewhere safe.


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