Girl shot dead in Bengaluru school hostel, suspect held

Bengaluru: A teenage girl was shot dead at a residential school hostel here allegedly by an office attendant. The suspect has been arrested, police said on Wednesday.

"The shootout occurred around 10 p.m. Tuesday, when the 41-year-old accused, Mahesh, barged into the hostel room of 17-year-old Gauthami and fired at her from close range with a sophisticated pistol and fled the spot," Bengaluru Commissioner of Police M.N. Reddi told reporters later.

The girl's roommate, Shirisha, who received a bullet injury in her ear, is recovering at a private hospital here. A special team, formed to nab the accused, tracked Mahesh hiding at his sister's house on Wednesday afternoon and also recovered the pistol.

"We have registered a murder case against the accused under sections 302 and 307 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act and set up two teams to investigate the case, which is disturbing," Reddi said. Police came to know about the incident when the hostel warden filed a police complaint against Mahesh on Wednesday.

The girl, who completed the two-year pre-university course (PUC) in Pragathi school-cum-junior college, appeared for public exams last month and stayed back in the hostel to prepare for entrance tests in pursuit of higher studies. Gauthami and Shirisha hail from Pavagada in Tumukuru district, about 70 km from here, while Mahesh is from Agumbe in Shivamogga district, about 300 km from here.

"The probe teams are interrogating Mahesh to find out why he shot the victim and from where he got the pistol, which is expensive," Reddi said. Though Mahesh has been working in the school as an attendant since 2012, he has been living in the city for over the last 10-15 years, according to the school authorities.

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