- A security guard believed to be burnt alive in a bus depot fire 7 months ago has returned.
- Says he was abducted by the diesel thieves and he managed to get free and return.
- His wife was given a job with KSRTC on compassionate grounds.
- His family received compensation of altogether Rs 15 lakh.
- Week ago it was found the dead man's DNA did not match with guard's son.
A security guard believed to be burnt alive in a bus depot fire 7 months ago has returned home giving rise to several questions, reported Kannada Prabha.
Lingaraja Palakshappa Belagutti (32), a KSRTC security personnel, presented himself before the NWKSRTC officials and said he was abducted by the diesel thieves and he managed to get free and return home. It can be recalled that, on January 1, a KSRTC bus KA 27 427 parked in Magodu depot at Ranebennur caught fire and a totally burnt body was found in the remains. A complaint was lodged by Lingaraja’s wife that he was on duty that night and the body was his.
A case was registered at Halageri taluk police station. NWKSRTC commissioner Sadananda Danganavar and other officials and police arrived at the spot and after investigation concluded that diesel thieves killed Lingaraju for attempting to stop them. The family conducted the death rituals. The department sanctioned a compensation of Rs 5 lakhs. His wife was given a job with KSRTC on compassionate grounds. The family also got gratuity of Rs 4.5 lakh, surrender leave compensation of Rs 1 lakh, Group Insurance and personal insurance altogether Rs 15 lakh.
Now, exactly 7 and half months after the incident Lingaraju has come back on Sunday night and presented himself before the NWKSRTC officials. They in turn handed him over to the police. According to Lingaraju, on Jan 1 around a gang of around 6 came to the depot to steal diesel. Lingaraju stopped them an altercation resulted and the gang assaulted him. Then Lingaraja picked up a plank lying and hit a man, who died on the spot.
The gang put him into the bus and set fire to it and abducted Lingaraja in a car. From then till now, for seven and half months, they took him to all kinds of places that he could not recognise. They were allowing him to get down only for food and nature call. He tried to escape many times but was unable to. On Sunday he managed to escape and return.
However, several questions are raised by his return. A DNA test of his son did not match the DNA of the dead man. Just a week back the results were announced and it was declared that the dead body was not that of Lingaraja. The fact that Lingaraja returned one week after the family members being informed of DNA test result makes it suspect that his family members may be in touch with Lingaraja. However, his wife Netravathi has point blank refused the allegation.
If the miscreants kidnapped Lingaraja why did they keep him for seven and half months without making any claim for ransom? Why did they keep him and can anyone be kept in car for that long? Who was the man who died that night? In all this time was Lingaraja not able to establish who his kidnappers were?
Investigations are on to find out answers to all these questions.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:44 PM