MADIKERI: Heavy rain and strong winds wrought damage across South Kodagu and claimed its first victim this year in Tarikatte village near Pollibetta on Friday.
Rehanath (22), a resident of Tarikatte village, was killed when a branch fell on her house while she slept. The incident took place at midnight on Thursday. Her husband Naushad, escaped with minor injuries.
The couple’s one-year-old son has miraculously escaped unhurt. Rehanath and Naushad, who got married a couple of years ago, were staying at a house near an estate owned by Uthaiah in the village.
The tree branch broke through the ceiling of the house and fell on Rehanath, crushing her chest. Naushad suffered minor injuries on hand and their son had just woken up. Naushad ran to neighbours for help and Rehanath was taken to a hospital in Gonikoppal.
However, she succumbed to her injuries on the way. Learning about the incident, hundreds from neighbouring villages rushed to the spot. Meanwhile, villagers and members of Virajpet Taluk Panchayat requested the police to conduct an autopsy on the spot.
Revenue officers and the Virajpet Tahsildar visited the spot, conducted mahazar and reported the incident to the Kodagu Deputy Commissioner. When villagers protested and demanded the release of relief funds, the police pacified them.
The villagers, however, voiced their anger against the negligence of Devarapura Panchayat Development Officer and said the officer had not cut the trees, that could have fallen, despite the villagers requesting him to do so. Executive officer of Devarapura Panchayat Jayanna assured them of looking into the matter.