A 72-year-old man’s death triggered tension in Madikeri city and Murnad town in Kodagu district on Wednesday.

Somashekar, who was attacked allegedly by a team of policemen and other people in his house in Murnad on September 2, died in a Madikeri hospital on Tuesday night.

Somashekar’s son Deviprasad (22), a car driver in Murnad, recently married Ramya (17) of Bangalore after meeting her through Facebook.

Ramya, daughter of the driver of a high ranking police officer in Bangalore, was living with Deviprasad and her in-laws for the last three months. Information received here said Ramya’s relatives, except her father, were visiting her in Murnad since her marriage.

She, however, disappeared on August 28 and Deviprasad lodged a complaint with the Madikeri Rural police on September 2.

It is said that Ramya’s relatives took her to Bangalore, but Deviprasad lodged the complaint saying his wife was kidnapped by her relatives.

A group of people, including a few policemen attached to the Siddapur police station in Bangalore, entered Deviprasad’s house in the wee hours of September 2, and allegedly assaulted him and Somashekar for “abducting” Ramya.

Somashekar was hospitalised following the attack. Deviprasad was taken to Bangalore by the policemen. He was remanded in judicial custody.

On learning about Somashekar’s death, a large number of people gathered both in Madikeri and Murnad on Wednesday demanding that Ramya come to the spot, but to no avail.

Following a complaint by Deviprasad’s mother, Sunandamma, a case of murder was registered against those who attacked Somsahekar, Kodagu Superintendent of Police M.N. Anucheth said. Cases have been booked against Ramya’s father, Venugopal, and her two brothers Naveen and Shashi, apart from eight others, based on the complaint, he said.

He confirmed that the Madikeri Rural police had recorded Ramya’s statement on May 30. She had told them she married Deviprasad and had come to Murnad on her own volition. Deviprasad has been released on parole for a day by a Bangalore court to attend his father’s funeral.

Special Correspondent from Bangalore writes:

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Bangalore South) H.S. Revanna said that he would probe the charges after getting a report from the Kodagu police. He said the arrest was made based on a complaint of harassment and torture lodged by Ramya.

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