HAVERI: A 10-year-old boy died six days after he was allegedly thrashed by the owners of a shop suspecting he had stolen money from the till in Haveri district‘s Uppanasi village in Hanagal taluk, about 360km from Bengaluru.
Police said Harishayya Hiremath went to the grocery shop on March 16, and died at Hubballi’s KIMS hospital on Monday.
Police are waiting for the postmortem report to ascertain the cause of death. Haveri district additional superintendent of police Mallikarjun Baladandi promised a swift investigation into the incident and said action will be based on the findings of the postmortem.
Based on a video statement made by the boy from the hospital bed and a complaint lodged by the boy’s father Nagayya Hiremath at Adur police station on March 17, district police registered a case against the shop owners – Praveen Karishettar, his mother Basavannevva Karishettar, uncle Kumar Haveri and maternal grandfather Shivarudrappa Haveri. The four accused are absconding, a police officer said.
According to Nagayya, the boy who went to pick up groceries did not return home for nearly two hours, prompting him and his wife to rush to the shop.
Once in the shop, Nagayya and wife Jayashree found the boy in the shopowners’ custody, and he was allegedly beaten up on suspicion that he had stolen money from the shop.
In the video that has since gone viral, the boy narrates the trauma he went through at the hands of the shopowners.
He says that he was pushed, beaten up with a club, and hurled from one end of the room to the other.
He was forced to carry heavy stone weights on his back. He cries that “they are attempting to kill me”.
The boy’s parents said that they were also pushed around when they pleaded with the shopowners to release the boy.
By evening, the boy was set free. Immediately, the parents took their injured son to a Haveri hospital and shifted him to Hubballi’s KIMS on March 19. The boy breathed his last on March 22.