The monthly meeting convened by the police to address grievances of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe people here on Sunday saw a confrontation between a petitioner and Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Goyal over reopening of a 2001 murder case.

During the meeting, Shivappa Renkedaguttu, State president of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Pratishthana, asked Mr. Goyal to order a re-inquiry into the death of Shivappa Bangera, a Mangalore University employee and president of the Dalit Workers' Association in the university.

If not, the case should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for investigation, Mr. Renkedaguttu said.

While a case was filed in the Bantwal Rural Police Station shortly after Shivappa's body was found at Kadabettu village in Bantwal Taluk, a C-Report was filed in 2002, which was acknowledged by the court.

Mr. Renkedaguttu said that the police had “shoddily” investigated the case. In response, Mr. Goyal said that a case could only be reopened if there was sufficient evidence that would yield some result

“The police said there were no witnesses, but people of the village had told them that two men who had specifically asked for Shivappa Bangera a few minutes before he was killed,” Mr. Shivappa told The Hindu.

Moreover, he said, before Shivappa's death, some people had threatened him over a property dispute, while some had been at odds with him over the impending marriage of his niece.

“Why hadn't the police brought these people for questioning? How can they not even find out the motive of the murder?” Mr. Renkedaguttu said.

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