While in most cases insurance is used to guarantee a medical or financial emergency, in a twist of fate life insurance has become a cause of murder. At least that’s what seems to be the case in Gokak.
An LIC agent has been discredited and imprisoned for allegedly having taken the lives of his two wives within a gap of two years, in order to get the benefit of their life insurance.
The story unfurled a few days ago when Shankarlingappa Basalingappa Maji, a 30-year-old LIC agent, reported the death of his second wife, arousing the curiosity of the people of Kalloli in Gokak taluka in Belgaum district.
Maji, a native of Bijapur district moved to Kalloli a decade ago and villagers claim that he killed his first wife with similar motives, two years ago.
They alleged Shankar killed his wife two years ago and got a huge amount from the LIC policy he had in her name.
They said he also killed his second wife, Jayshri, on March 15 for the same purpose.
Maji’s neighbours said they were told that Jayshri was killed in a blast from a water-heater stove. Jayshri’s dying statement too says the same, but they believe that she must have said so only to protect her two little sons.
Surprisingly, the villagers reminded that Maji’s father and father-in-law (father of his first wife) too had died abruptly nine years ago, and they now suspect that to be Maji’s doing too. The villagers point at how Maji became a crorepati in the village in a matter of months then.
The villagers staged a massive protest in Gokak on Wednesday during which they alleged that Maji had been smart enough to prove all the deaths to be accidental.”This time we are not letting him get away,” said one of the villagers.
Irked by his criminal acts, the whole of Kalloli village was shut down on Wednesday.
Villagers, including women and children, demanded a death sentence for Maji. The situation got progressively more violent and the police had to resort to lathi charge and firing in the air.
A house and some public property was also damaged in the protest.
The women of the village have warned the police that they will burn Maji if he is released from custody of the police or even tries escaping punishment.
Gokak police, who have already arrested Maji on Tuesday night, arrested 40 more persons for causing damage to public property on Wednesday.