In dog they trust: Gadag K9 squad helps cops crack case of gory murder within 24 hours

Rambo, a Doberman, took one sniff of the murder weapon and led the police directly to the home of the accused.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Nov 01, 2022 | 3:23 PM Updated Nov 01, 2022 | 6:11 PM

Rambo with his handler-trainers and the Gadag district police. (Supplied)

Rambo, a Doberman attached to the Karnataka State Police (KSP) K9 Dog Squad in the Gadag district, managed to help the cops detect a murder within 24 hours of the crime being committed.

Thus it was that the district police could arrest the four accused — including a 31-year-old woman — from a forested area in Kappatagudda even before they could leave the district.

The Shirahatti police, in whose jurisdiction a 60-year-old man was bludgeoned to death, had secured the crime scene and left it undisturbed for the K9 squad to take it up in the morning.

Rambo arrived at the spot and took a sniff of the boulder stone, the weapon with which the victim’s head was bashed in.

Devakka Tirupati Bandivaddar

Devakka Tirupati Bandivaddar. (Supplied)

He went around in the locality and then headed straight to a tin-foil sheet house belonging to one Devakka alias Somova (31), who had absconded by then.

Within hours, the police traced her and her three associates — who were from her husband’s side of the family — to Kapattagudda in the Mundargi taluk in the Gadag district.

According to the police, victim Erappa BS (60) was a resident of Dambala at the Hosahalli village, and worked as a motor mechanic.

Erappa used to sleep on a concrete slab a couple of 100 metres from Devakka’s house.

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Around 1.30 am on 24 October, while Erappa was sleeping, the accused came with a stone boulder and smashed his head.

Hearing a commotion, Erappa’s son Shivappa E came out in search of his father and found him lying in a pool of blood.

He immediately informed the Shirahatti police, who rushed to the spot and shifted the body to the taluk hospital, while the crime scene was secured for the K9 dog squad to come and carry out its work.

Shivappa also told the police that he suspected a few persons — including a woman with whom his father was having an extramarital affair — to be behind the crime.

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On 24 October morning, Rambo arrived at the crime scene, sniffed the murder weapon, and went straight to a tin shed, where his handlers and the police found blood stains. They surmised that people staying in the shed had something to do with the murder.

Huchappa Bandivaddar

Huchappa Bandivaddar

The police, after finding out that three of Devakka’s relatives were also missing from the village, collected all their mobile numbers from the neighbouring residents and acquaintances, and tracked them to Kappatagudda the very same day.

A police team went to the forested area, secured them, and brought them back to the Shirahatti Police Station, where they confessed to the crime.

According to a senior police officer heading the investigation, Devakka admitted that she was in an illicit relationship with Erappa for around eight-nine years. Since she is only 31 and Erappa was 60, quite old, she wanted to put an end to their relationship by eliminating him.

Markandappa Bandivaddar

Markandappa Bandivaddar

Devakka who was married to Tirupati Bandivaddar, conspired with her husband’s relatives and bludgeoned him to death, the police said.

“Devakka’s relative Markandappa Bandivaddar (28) is the prime accused. He first smashed the boulder on the victim’s head,” another officer said.

“She herself then picked up the boulder and smashed his head until he did not move,” he added.

“The two other accused were Mallikarjun Bandivaddar (27) and Huchappa Bandivaddar (41)” another officer said.

Mallikarjun Bandivaddar

Mallikarjun Bandivaddar

Gadag District Superintendent of Police Shivaprasad Devaraju lauded the team, led by DySP Shivanand Pawad Shettar.

Police sources said it was Circle Inspector Vikas Lamani’s plan to use the K9 squad’s Rambo for the operation.

The officers also congratulated the two dog-squad handlers — trainers of Rambo.