Airline staffer confesses to murder of Udupi family: Police | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Airline staffer confesses to murder of Udupi family: Police

By, Bengaluru
Nov 16, 2023 09:03 AM IST

The suspect, a colleague of one of the victims, was apprehended from Belagavi district by a special team of police on Tuesday

A 39-year-old airline crew member, Praveen Arun Chowgule, has admitted to the murder of four members of a family, including a 12-year-old child, in Udupi. The suspect, a colleague of one of the victims, was apprehended from Belagavi district by a special team of police on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the police was granted a 14 days custody of the accused by a first additional court in Udupi.

Praveen Arun Chowgule (HT Photo)
Praveen Arun Chowgule (HT Photo)

Udupi superintendent of police Arun K stated during a media briefing that Chowgule, an Air India cabin crew member based at Mangaluru airport, confessed to the crime during interrogation. He said that his intended target was Aynaz, who used to work along with Chowgule, but the other family members were killed as they tried to intervene. Chowgule, originally from Sangli in Maharashtra, had been residing in the area for several years and is married.

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“He was working at the Mangaluru airport as an Air India cabin crew. He is from Sangli in Maharashtra but has been living here for several years. He is a married man,” the Udupi SP said.

“Based on technical analysis and human intelligence, we detained the suspect. Udupi police took Chougule into custody from Kudachi police limits. When he was interrogated, he accepted that he had committed the murders. This afternoon [Tuesday], the arrest procedure was completed,” Udupi SP added.

The crime took place in the Tripti Nagar area of Udupi taluk on Sunday, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Haseena (46) and her three children: Afnan (23), Aynaz (21), and Aseem (12). Another family member, Hajira (70), sustained stab injuries and is undergoing medical treatment.

When asked about the motive for the murder, the officer said that Chougule has given three to four motives and the police are verifying the claims. Even though an investigator privy to the probe indicated that the suspect was obsessed with his college Aynaz, the SP sought more time to verify the motive.

“There are three or four motives that the accused has disclosed and we will verify these aspects. Since there are aspects regarding the victim’s family which could hurt or defame them, it would be better to confirm the statements of the accused before disclosure,” SP Arun told reporters.

After the murders, Chowgule traveled to Kudachi in Belagavi to spend time and celebrate Diwali with his uncle, presenting himself as if everything was normal. The SP said they (the police) need to verify the suspect’s claim of prior service with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and hinted that further investigations to determine if anyone assisted him in the crime are underway.

The assailant hired an auto from Santhekatte to Tripti Nagar around 8:30 am on Sunday and abruptly entered Hasina’s house, stabbing four people with a knife. Aseem, the 12-year-old boy playing outside, rushed inside upon hearing the screams and was also attacked. The attacker, who stabbed five people in just fifteen minutes, managed to flee. Four people died on the spot, and Hajira (70) suffered serious injuries.

Chowgule’s health checkup took place at Ajekaru Primary Health Center, and he was brought to Udupi court under tight security. The First Additional Civil Judge and First Class Judicial Magistrate granted 14 days of police custody for further investigation, scheduled until November 28.

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