An 18-year-old man died outside an SSLC exam centre in Karnataka's Bijapur district on Saturday after allegedly being beaten up by the police.
According to initial reports, Sagar Chalavadi from Basavana Bagewadi taluk died of a heart attack after he was lathi-charged by the police.
The police personnel allegedly beat him up after suspecting his involvement in malpractice along with another person.
Chalavadi's family alleged he was outside the exam centre as he had gone to drop off his sister and that he was not involved in any malpractice. The family claimed he died as a result of police assault.
However, District Superintendent of Police Anupam Agarwal who later visited the spot and took note of the incident denied allegations of physical assault.
Shivappa, an eyewitness who was with Chalavadi during the incident, told News18 they are not connected to any examination malpractices as claimed by the police.
“We were crossing the examination centre in Hoovina Hipparagi when a policeman stopped us. He asked where we are heading and he hit our motorcycle. I told him that Sagar is unwell and we are going to a hospital. He again hit the bike; we told him we will head back and turned. Then he thrashed Sagar’s back with a police baton,” said Shivappa.
According to eyewitnesses, Chalavadi was chased by police after which he had a heart attack and collapsed. He is suspected to have had a pre-existing heart condition.
Chalavadi was taken to Hoovina Hipparagi health centre from where he was rushed to the taluk hospital at the insistence of local healthcare personnel. When they reach the Basavana Bagewadi taluk hospital, Chalavadi was declared dead on arrival.
Chalavadi's uncle, who was with him outside the exam centre, said the victim was hit by the police and when he tried to escape on his bike, the vehicle skid.
SP Agarwal said Chalavadi was outside the exam centre with his relative and there were allegations that he was beaten up by the police and that he had a heart disease.
"I visited the place and spoke to eyewitness and a doctor. He wasn't beaten up," said Agarwal. "The police chased him from there, then he met with an accident. From what we are told, he had a pre-existing heart ailment that caused a shock, leading to his death. We will know the exact cause of death after the post-mortem."
Local police personnel on condition of anonymity told News18 the youth were involved in malpractice and when confronted, they tried to run and fell.
“We learned that Sagar previously had a history of cardiac issues and he must have died due to shock after being caught. Nobody beat him,” said a local police personnel.
The body of the victim has been sent for post-mortem.
(With inputs from Mahesh V Shatagar in Bijapur and Sharath Sharma Kalagaru in Bengaluru)