Mangaluru, May 01, 2018: Three accused in the sensational Karthik Raj murder case were acquitted by the Mangaluru principal district and sessions court on April 30, Monday.
Lack of evidence led to the acquittal of Karthik Raj’s sister Kavyashree, Gautam and his brother Gaurav.
On October 22nd, 2016, Karthik Raj, son of former Mangaluru taluk panchayat president Umesh Ganiga, was attacked at Asaigoli.
Karthik’s murder turned communal and political when right-wing groups protested and demanded justice in the case. BJP MP Nalin Kumar had threatened to set the district on fire if the culprits were not arrested. However, he apologized for his statements later.
Karthik’s sister Kavyashree, Gautam and Gaurav were arrested by the police for allegedly plotting the murder. The police claimed that Kavyashree, who was working in a hospital, came in contact with Gautam, a resident of Santosh Nagar in Kuthar.
She had approached Gautam with a request to kill her elder brother because of certain differences with him, and also offered to pay five lac rupees for committing this murder. Gautam who was in need of money, along with his brother Gaurav allegedly murdered Karthik. The judgment was pronounced by judge K S Bilagi, who acquitted all three accused due to lack of evidence.
The murder had taken a political turn with the infamous comment of Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel that the BJP would set fire to the district if police failed to nab the assailant of Karthik Raj at a protest rally outside Konaje police station. Incidentally, Kavyashree, the main accused too was present at this very protest meeting. Judge KS Bilagi heard 33 witnesses and ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove the allegations against the accused. Advocates Venu Kumar, Yuvaraj K Amin and Udayananda had argued for the accused.