He was being constantly summoned over a neighbour’s unsolved murder, says wife

A grocery shop owner, who took poison on April 10 saying he was being harassed by the police in their pursuit of his neighbour’s killer, succumbed on Thursday afternoon.

The deceased is Manjunatha Krishnaiah Shetty, a Hanumanthnagar resident.

K.G. Nagar police had questioned many traders whose shops are located near murder victim Manasa Nagaraj’s house in Nanjappa Layout. Manasa (27) was found strangled to death at her home on March 19 and among those questioned was Shetty (53), who had a grocery shop.

Shetty’s wife, Geeta, told the media her husband consumed poison on Wednesday morning, humiliated by continuous harassment from the police on the pretext of questioning him.

“He had been cooperating with the police whenever summoned,” Ms. Geeta said. “Police summoned my husband, a milk vendor and another neighbour to identify the woman in a photo album. Those were photos of Manasa’s son’s birthday celebrations. He didn’t want to go in the police jeep and would go to the police station on his bike.” He had been very depressed over the behaviour of the police, she said. They frequently called him to the police station and forced him to sit there all day, treating him like a murder suspect, she said.

On Wednesday morning, Shetty left his shop saying police had summoned him again, leaving Ms. Geeta to mind the shop. When he did not respond to her calls, Ms. Geeta asked neighbours to check on him and they said he had locked himself in. Her worst fears came true when she rushed home, got the neighbours to break open the door and found her husband lying unconscious and frothing from the mouth.

He was rushed to hospital where he died the following day.

Tragically, Shetty had opened his Sumukha Provision Store just three weeks prior to the murder.

The Shetty family said it plans to complain to the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission.

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