The death of 10-year-old Bharat Baraker on Monday, 19 December, had a layer of mystery peeled from it on Tuesday, when the police managed to ascertain the motive behind his killing.
A guest teacher threw the Class 4 student from the first floor of a government school in the Gadag district of Karnataka. He succumbed to his injuries later in the day.
The accused, identified as 32-year-old Muthappa, went absconding after the incident. The police formed two teams on Monday and began the task of tracking him down.
He had switched off his phone and was apparently trying to flee the district when the police arrested him on Tuesday.
It was only after his interrogation that they managed to ascertain his motives behind the assault on the child. And the entire story seems to make the 10-year-old’s death seem especially senseless.
According to the police, Muthappa was in a relationship with 34-year-old Geetha — mother to Bharat and his sister — for a year. They were both guest teachers in the Gadag school, and married to different people.
However, he apparently noticed that she, over the past few days, was getting closer to a permanent teacher named Sangana Gowda Patil (in his 40s) in the school.
Incidentally, Muthappa was also a married man and has two children. Even Sangana Gowda Patil was married, and settled with his family in the Hadli village, the police said.
Muthappa told the cops that since Geetha was distancing herself from him and was getting closer to Patil, he threatened her, but in vain.
Ultimately, Muthappa decided to teach Geetha a lesson by killing her son.
Details of the attack
Thus it was that he took away Bharat from a classroom on the first floor and assaulted him.
He is said to have smashed the child against the wall, picked him up by his legs, and thrown him down to the ground from the first floor.
The fourth standard boy succumbed to injuries on the way to the hospital.
Geetha, who heard the commotion, came running to the first floor, where Muthappa caught hold of her and assaulted her, said the police.
She sustained grievous injuries to her head, and was admitted to the KIMS Hospital in Hubballi on Monday.
“She has still not recovered from her head injuries and shock, and the police are yet to obtain her statement,” a senior police officer told South First early on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Sangana Gowda Patil, who came to the rescue of Geetha, also came under attack, which left him with a bleeding nose.
“We have to corroborate and verified the statements of the accused Muthappa with Geetha and Sangana Gowda Patil, who is the complainant in the case, and also recorded their statements,” the aforementioned officer said in the evening.