The Moodbidri police arrested 20-year-old Harish on charges of rape and murder of 22-year-old woman, his neighbour, at Padukonaje on Monday night.

According to the police, Malathi (22), the victim, had been going to her house at Padukonaje in a forest area after getting down from the bus at Howdala on the Shirtadi Road.

The accused, who was inebriated, pursued Malathi and allegedly raped her.

When she started shouting, Harish allegedly smothered her to death, the police said.

Malathi's brother Ratnakar started to search for his sister when she did not return home.

He then learnt about her body and also about theft of his sister's mobile phone and her silver necklace. Mr. Ratnakar suspected involvement of Harish, who had earlier harassed his sister, and lodged a complaint with the police.

On Monday night, the Moodbidri police took Harish into custody and questioned him.

The police said Harish admitted to the crime.

The police have seized from Harish the mobile phone of Malathi, her necklace, and Rs. 110 that was in her purse.

The police have subjected Harish to medical tests and have sent reports to the Forensic Science Laboratory. The police produced Harish before the local magistrate, who remanded him in judicial custody

Sorrow

A pall of gloom descended on the house of Malathi, the youngest of the three children of farmer Eerappa Moolya. Malathi, a bright student and employee of SKF Industrial Training Institute at Bannadka, usually returned home with Mr. Ratnakar. The two used to walk 5 km from the bus stop and reach home.

On Monday evening, Mr. Ratnakar, who works in a farm, could not escort Malathi.

Murdered

A 23-year-old man was found dead near Enclave Apartment in Mannagudda in Barke police station limits on Tuesday.

The police said Sandivel (23) was bludgeoned with a heavy stone and he was found dead just outside the apartment premises.

The police were questioning Manish, who is suspected to have murdered Sandivel.

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