3 more held for BJP youth wing leader’s murder: Cops

Published on Aug 12, 2022 12:04 AM IST

Nettaru, 32, was hacked to death by unidentified motorbike-borne assailants on July 26 night at Bellare in the district.

Three people, who allegedly murdered Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) worker Praveen Nettaru in Dakshina Kannada district on July 26, were arrested on Thursday, Karnataka police said. (PTI)
Three people, who allegedly murdered Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) worker Praveen Nettaru in Dakshina Kannada district on July 26, were arrested on Thursday, Karnataka police said. (PTI)
By, Bengaluru

Three people, who allegedly murdered Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) worker Praveen Nettaru in Dakshina Kannada district on July 26, were arrested on Thursday, Karnataka police said.

Nettaru, 32, was hacked to death by unidentified motorbike-borne assailants on July 26 night at Bellare in the district.

Police have so far arrested seven people in connection with the case. A top police officer said they suspect the three people arrested on Thursday killed Nettaru.

The suspects in custody were identified as Shiyabuddin alias Shiyab, 32, Riyaz Angatadakar, 27, and Basheer, 29. Shiyab used to work as a supplier of coco products, Riyaz as a chicken supplier and Basheer as a hotel worker.

Alok Kumar, additional director general of police (law and order) said the three suspects were arrested while they were on the move to evade police.

The police officer said the arrested men don’t have a criminal background or any major cases registered against them. “We knew their identity for the past few days. But since they were on the move, we were not able to track them down. Now close to 15 days after the murder, we have arrested them… the arrest was based on a tip-off that they were on the move. Based on this, a team led by the Sullia inspector arrested them. We are seeking their police custody for further investigation,” said Kumar.

The officer said the motive behind the murder and the reasons behind “choosing Praveen as a target” will be known only after the investigation. He, however, added that one of the earlier arrested accused Mohammed Shafiq, 27, who was nabbed from Bellare village on July 28, told police that he had helped in identifying Nettaru as a target.

“Shafiq’s father Ibrahim used to work for Nettaru at his chicken shop. He knew Nettaru well, so he helped with recce and other aspects of identifying the target,” said Kumar.

When asked if the arrested men had any links with any organisations, Kumar said even though police suspect that the accused had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI), “it would not be fair to say they are linked because we have a suspicion. We will investigate this aspect and provide details in the chargesheet”.

The officer said after the murder, the accused took shelter in a masjid in Kerala’s Kasaragod. Police are yet to collect information about the other locations where the accused were hiding.

“We have names, but we want to confirm them with technical evidence. We will question them further and verify the details. Based on this, if we get information about anyone who harboured these criminals, we will take action against them,” Kumar said.

Talking about the further investigation, Kumar said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will take over the case in three to four days. Police will question the accused, following which case details including the latest arrest would be handed over to NIA, he added.

Police are yet to find the weapon used for the murder and the black motorcycle used by the attackers.

The BYJM worker’s murder had triggered massive protests by right-wing workers against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state. The state government handed over the case to the NIA as the BJP was doing all it could to calm the rising tempers of its foot soldiers.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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