Pall of gloom in naxal victims' homes

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Seethanadi, Karnataka, May 16 (UNI) A pall of gloom descended on the house of Bhoja Shetty, a teacher by profession, who was shot dead last night, along with his cousin Suresh Shetty, in this sleepy village situated in the thick forest of Udupi District in Karnataka.

Visiting newspersons from Udupi District saw blood stains at the main iron gate and on the floors of the foreyard of the victims' house, who were shot dead by Maoists with AK 47 assault rifles. The extremists also left behind some hand bills.

Briefing the mediapersons, Mr Balakrishna Shetty, a relative and friend of Bhoja Shetty said the cousins were returning home at about 2015 hrs.

While approaching their house, the Shettys saw some boulders blocking their way.

Suresh Shetty, who was riding pillion, got down from the vehicle and tried to remove the boulders.

Meanwhile, the naxals, hiding behind the bushes, opened fire indiscriminately and fled.

While Bhoja Shetty was killed on the spot, Suresh Shetty succumbed to bullet injuries on way to hospital.

As soon as the sound of firing was heard, Bhoja Shetty's son, who was inside the house, came out with a gun only to see his father was lying in a pool of blood.

According to Mr Balakrishna Shetty, though Bhoja Shetty had developed enemity with the naxalites after he courageously took them head-on in 2005 against an attempt on his life, Suresh Shetty was totally innocent and had nothing to do with naxals.

Mr Sunil Kumar, Former BJP MLA from the Karkala Constituency and MLC Ganesh Karnik both visited the houses yesterday while Union Minister for Labour Oscar Fernandes visited today.

Mr Balakrishna Shetty said Bhoja Shetty (56), who was teacher at Someshwar Higher Elementary School, was due for retirement in three years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. Suresh Shetty had a wife, daughter and a son, he added.

Meanwhile, the joint combing operation by the Anti-Naxalite Force (ANF) and the police has been intensified in the thick forest area to trace the culprits.


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