People heave a sigh of relief over death of wanted men

Staff Correspondent

BIJAPUR: There is a sense of relief among people over the death of Khajappa Hosmani and Yalgurappa Bandivaddar in the encounter that took place on Tuesday.

Those in the taluks bordering Maharashtra along the Bheema, who were reportedly subjected to constant harassment by the two, silently celebrated their end.

So much so that not only people but the family members of the two were also fed up with their activities.

Though Ratnabai, wife of Yalgurappa, came forward to claim her husband's body, it was not so in the case of Khajappa. His wife, who hails from Byakod village in Sindagi taluk, left him long ago. She did not come to claim his body.

While Panduranga, Khajappa's elder brother, is in judicial custody, his younger brother, Mallikarjun alias Mallu, who is wanted in several offences, is at large. Panduranga's wife, Parvathi, reluctantly claimed the body of Khajappa.

After their leader Chandappa Harijan was killed in an encounter six years ago, Bagappa Harijan from Byadagihal village in Sindagi taluk and Razak of Afzalpur kept a low profile for some time. According to sources, Bagappa even had a sten-gun.

It is said that most of the crimes he committed remain unreported as the victims' relatives or witnesses did not disclose them fearing retribution. Besides, Mallu and his close relative, Chidanand of Gunaki, have also become a cause for concern for the police.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (Belgaum Zone), Harshavardhan Gupta, who visited the encounter spot near Minchinal railway station about 25 km from here on Wednesday, held a meeting with the Superintendent of Police, Seemant Kumar Singh, and his subordinates. While congratulating the district police, he asked them to continue the drive against "contract killers" in coordination with the Gulburga and Sholapur police.

Mr. Gupta also announced a cash prize to those who carried out yesterday's operation. The Inspector of Bijapur Rural Circle, B.P. Chandrashekhar; the Inspector of Gandhi Chowk Circle, N.S. Patil; the Reserve Police Inspector, Yogesh M.; the Sub-Inspectors T.S. Sulpi and Basavaraj Yaligar and a few constables form the core group that was involved in Tuesday's encounter.

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