• Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Man arrested in India’s Karnataka for buffalo theft 58 years back

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

In the southern Indian state of Karnataka, police arrested a 78-year-old man, Ganapati Vitthal Wagore, who had been accused of stealing two buffaloes and a calf back in 1965 when he was 20 years old, the BBC reported.

At the time, he was initially arrested for the alleged theft alongside another individual. Both were granted conditional bail but subsequently disappeared and remained untraceable. Wagore’s co-accused passed away in 2006.

Last week, a court granted Wagore bail due to his old age following his re-arrest.

The case had gone cold but was revisited when a police team delved into old pending investigations, prompting a renewed effort to locate the individuals involved.

The theft occurred in Bidar district, Karnataka, but both arrests of Wagore took place in different villages in the neighbouring Maharashtra state.

Wagore and his co-accused, Krishna Chander, had previously confessed to the theft in 1965 and were granted conditional bail by a local court. However, after their release, they failed to respond to summons and warrants.

Efforts to locate the two men in the past had been unsuccessful, with police teams searching villages in both Karnataka and Maharashtra.

However, last month, the case was reopened, and inquiries were made among the residents of Umarga village, where Wagore had been arrested in 1965.

An elderly woman in the village remembered him and pointed police to Thakalagaon village in Maharashtra’s Nanded district, providing the most substantial lead in over five decades.

Upon visiting Thakalagaon village, residents confirmed that a man named Wagore had been living in a local temple.

Wagore personally disclosed his identity to the police and acknowledged that he had evaded the court due to apprehension. Following this, he was transported back to Karnataka and presented before the court, where he was provided with pro bono legal representation by the Legal Aid Society.

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