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18-year-old killed in Haveri: human sacrifice of a dalit worker

Grief-stricken parents of a murdered 18-year-old have alleged that their son was a victim of human sacrifice in Thirumaladevarakoppa village near Ranebennur town in Haveri district on November 26, 2011, carried out by his employer and his family to ward off evil from their newly constructed house on the advice of a sorcerer.

The complaint by the parents, Bharamappa and Manjavva Kademani, has been received by the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), which has initiated an inquiry into the incident.

The parents have alleged that their son, Kademani, a dalit was employed as a tractor driver by Basavana Gowda, a landlord and moneylender, who had recently constructed a house into which he had shifted along with his sons, Ningana Gowda and Rangana Gowda, along with their families.

But a series of strange incidents started occurring after they shifted into the new house, including the house developing cracks and construction workers sustaining injuries while rebuilding it.

The Gowda family viewed this as ‘inauspicious’ and attributed the occurrences to the presence of evil spirits in the house.
The family, in consultation with a sorcerer called Taatu Ajja, had performed a ritual that involved burying a boar alive to drive the evil spirits away. The parents allege in their complaint that while conducting the ritual the Gowda family had taken the help of Basavaraj, a trusted employee of the Gowda family. But the bad times that had fallen upon Basavana Gowda’s family did not recede.

And Basavaraj least expected that his employer, on the advice of the sorcerer, would choose him for a , allege Basavaraj’s parents.

On the night of November 26, Basavaraj was summoned by his employer. What happened there remains a mystery, but Basavana Gowda’s son Ningana was seen that night trying to burn Basavaraj’s body in the fields on the outskirts of Thirumaladevarakoppa village. The presence of villagers deterred Ningana from burning the body, but the police said he had poured kerosene and fled the scene before setting it ablaze.

Later that night, Ningana surrendered to the police along with his uncle, Huchappa, admitting that he had killed Basavaraj after he found him with his wife in a compromising position, and that he could not control his anger.

But Basavaraj’s body, covered in vermillion and turmeric, and bearing a hole in the skull and his left eye gouged out, indicates a more sinister plot that may have led to Basavaraj’s death. His parents said it is a human sacrifice performed at the behest of the sorcerer Taatu Ajja.

They also allege that blood sprinkled on walls and ceilings of the house indicate that it was a part of a human sacrifice ritual to drive away evil spirits. Bharamappa and Manjavva Kademani also cannot believe Ningana’s version that Basavaraj was found with his wife in a compromising position.

They say their son had not taken his salary from his employers as he had thought it better to keep his monies in their custody and withdraw a consolidated amount from them whenever he decided to marry. The parents are now running from pillar to post, hoping for justice for their dead son. But deputy superintendent of police () Jayaprakash said it is a case pertaining to murder for revenge rather than anything else as the accused had surrendered and confessed. State Commission, registrar, KH Malleshappa said that they have received a complaint in this regard.

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