Paresh Mesta case: ‘He died after slipping into lake’, says CBI in charge sheet


PTI, Oct 19, 2022, 12:14 PM IST

Bengaluru: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has submitted its charge sheet in the Paresh Mesta death case.

Paresh Mesta, a Hindu youth, died after slipping into the lake, while wandering when communal clashes took place in Honnavara town of Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district, the CBI said.

The CBI has submitted the charge sheet to the local Honnavar Court. The charge sheet mentions that Paresh Mesta had attended then CM Siddaramaiah’s programme in Kumta city after travelling about 25 kilometers with friends.

After returning home, he again went out to meet his friends and never returned. The CBI has submitted statements of his friends and CCTV footage of the day as the evidence to the court.

The report also says that Paresh Mesta came home in an inebriated state many times and stayed back at his friend’s place. He also sold fish with his friends. The report says that Paresh Mesta was not in love with anyone and had taken permission from his parents to visit the Hindu pilgrimage center, Sabarimala.

Mesta, who went missing on December 6, 2017 during the communal clashes in Honnavar town, was found dead near Shettikere Lake after two days.

The BJP and Hindu activists alleged that Mesta was killed in the mob violence and killers dumped the body later in the lake.

The BJP, which was in the opposition then had launched a full-fledged agitation against ruling the Congress then. The ruling Congress government suffered a setback due to the agitation in the Assembly elections of 2018.

The Hindu activists demanding the arrest of killers of Paresh, had torched the vehicle of the IGP. The police were pelted with stones. Many policemen were injured.

Many political leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, had visited Mesta’s house. Then Siddaramaiah government had handed over the case to the CBI.

The report by the CBI is a setback for the ruling BJP, which stated Paresh Mesta death was accidental and filed a closure report. The CBI has filed the closure report after investigating the case for five years. The court will pronounce the verdict on November 16.

The incident had taken place during the tenure of Congress government headed by Siddaramaiah. “CBI has in its report, stated that Paresh Mesta’s death was accidental and was not due to murder. This report is a slap on the face of Karnataka BJP.

“If the BJP has left any shame left, it should apologise for its slanderous campaign,” Siddaramaiah had stated.

The ruling BJP in Karnataka, which had suffered setback after the CBI filing the closure report, has decided to back the family of the deceased.

Kamalakar Mesta, father of deceased youth had already made his intentions clear that he would discuss with family and well-wishers and decide on his next step regarding the closure report of CBI.

He had also alleged that the police had not inquired about all the suspected persons. The case had been handed over to the CBI after all evidence was destroyed.

National General Secretary and BJP MLA C.T. Ravi had stated that the party would stand with the family of Paresh Mesta if they want reinvestigation of the case. “We stand with Paresh Mesta family if they want to go for an appeal also,” he had said.

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