Praveen Nettaru murder case: Karnataka police arrests three persons
Alok Kumar additional director general of police (ADGP) (law and order) said the three suspects were arrested while they were on the move to evade police
Karnataka police on Thursday arrested three persons in connection with the murder of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha leader Praveen Nettaru. The police have arrested seven persons in connection with this case already, however, senior officers identified the three men arrested on Thursday, as the assailants who carried out the murder.
Praveen Nettaru (32), a zilla BJP Yuva Morcha committee member, was hacked to death by unidentified motorbike-borne assailants on July 26 night at Bellare in Dakshina Kannada district.
Alok Kumar additional director general of police (ADGP) (law and order) said the three suspects were arrested while they were on the move to evade police.
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, while Riyaz and Basheer were working as a chicken supplier and a hotel worker, respectively.
The ADGP 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 Alok Kumar.
The officer said that the motive behind the murder and the reasons behind “choosing Praveen as a target” would 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 is one of the conspirators in the case, said the police adding that he helped in identifying Nettaru as a target.
“Shafiq’s father Ibrahim used to work for Nettaru at his chicken shop. He knew Praveen 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 organisation, Kumar said that 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,” he added.
The officer said that 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,” the ADGP noted.
Talking about the further investigation, Kumar said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will take over the case in three to four days. The police will question the accused during the police custody provided by the court, following which case details including the latest arrest would be handed over to NIA, he added.
The police are yet to find the weapon used for the murder and the black Hero Honda splendour motorcycle used by the attackers.
Praveen’s murder had triggered massive protests by right-wing workers against its own BJP-ruled government in Karnataka, led by chief minister Basavaraj Bommai. The state government handed over the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as the party was doing all it could to calm the rising tempers of its foot soldiers.