In a recent development to the Quadruple Murder story of Udupi, Karnataka, where four members of a Muslim family were killed, the absconding accused has been captured and identified as Praveen Chaugule. Chaugule, a resident of Sangli, Maharashtra, was a security staff at Air India in Mangaluru, where Afnan (23), one of the slain, worked as an Air hostess.
The four family members, Afnan, her sister Ainaz (21), a student in Mangaluru, Afnan’s mother, Haseena (47), and her youngest sibling Aseem (14), were stabbed to death on 12th November. A neighbouring girl, after hearing the family’s cries for help, had rushed to the scene wherein the murderer threatened her as well before escaping.
Afnan and her sister Ainaz had returned home from Mangaluru to spend the holiday weekend with their mother and relatives in Udupi.
The police said that Praveen was arrested with the help of mobile tower location tracking. Udupi Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar said, “We are verifying multiple suspects. We are likely to get a clear picture tomorrow (Wednesday).”
According to the police, the assailant was wearing a mask, he had forcefully entered the house and stabbed the chests and abdomen of the victims, causing instant death. The youngest sibling Aseem, also became a victim when he returned to the house right at the moment of the crime.
Afnan’s grandmother partially escaped the attack by shutting herself in the bathroom but was severely injured and hospitalised. She has now recovered and has been discharged.
There has been an alleged involvement with gold smuggling, and suggestions of an unrequited love angle between Ainaz and Praveen have also come to light.
Rumours of business rivalry and a hired killer were rampant in the aftermath of the shocking murders, causing a 12-year-old boy, to get stabbed to death.
The attacker’s meticulous planning, from his arrival at the crime scene to the execution of the killings, including his subsequent escape from the police by switching transportation and locations, also fueled the notion that he was a professional assassin. Initial investigations also indicated that the assailant was acquainted with the victims and their house.
The accused, Praveen Chaugule, was caught after two days of intensive search in the Kudachi area of Rayabhaga taluk, Belagavi district. A joint operation was executed by the Udupi and Belagavi police to capture the accused.
There are unverified claims that Chaugule was earlier a policeman with the CRPF