Praveen Nettaru murder: Three held after NIA searches in Karnataka | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Praveen Nettaru murder: Three held after NIA searches in Karnataka

Nov 06, 2022 12:00 AM IST

According to officials familiar with the matter, the searches were conducted at several locations in Hubballi, Dakshina Kannada and Mysuru districts.

Bengaluru: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday conducted raids across Karnataka and arrested three people, including a Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leader, as part of its probe into the role of banned outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), in the murder of BJP’s Yuva Morcha leader Praveen Nettaru.

On July 26, three people came in a vehicle and hacked Praveen Nettaru to death outside his chicken shop off the Puttur-Sullia Road at Bellare in Mangaluru. (Arun Kumar Rao)
On July 26, three people came in a vehicle and hacked Praveen Nettaru to death outside his chicken shop off the Puttur-Sullia Road at Bellare in Mangaluru. (Arun Kumar Rao)

The SDPI is the political wing of the PFI, which was banned by the Centre in September for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

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According to officials familiar with the matter, the searches were conducted at several locations in Hubballi, Dakshina Kannada and Mysuru districts.

The police have identified those arrested as SDPI state secretary Shafi Bellare, Bellare gram panchayat member Iqbal Bellare and Ibrahim Shah from Sullia.

On July 26, three people came in a vehicle and hacked Nettaru to death outside his chicken shop off the Puttur-Sullia Road at Bellare in Mangaluru.

During the investigation, the state police found out the role of PFI and the matter was handed over to the NIA, which re-registered the case on August 4.

In August, the NIA obtained custody of five key accused in the case -- Naufal (28), Sainul Abid (22), Mohammed Syed (32), Abdul Basheer (29) and Riyaz (27).

Karnataka police had found that one of the suspects, Shiyab, is the main conspirator and main attacker.

Police said apart from Nettaru, the gang had identified two others as potential targets, but zeroed in on him because he roamed around without associates, unlike the other targets.

On November 2, the NIA declared a cash reward of 5 lakh each for information on accused Mohammad Shafi Bellare and Tufail M H of Gaddige, Madikeri; and 2 lakh for information on Umar Farooque M R of Kallumutlumane of Sullia and Aboobaker Siddik of Bellare.

“People who have information on the four men may contact the NIA office at Sir M Visvesvaraya Centre, Sir Visvesvaraya Kendriya Bhawan, Domlur, Bengaluru. They may call on telephone number 080-29510900 or mobile phone number 8904241100. They may also mail to email id: info.blrnia@gov.in,” the anti-terror agency had said in a statement.

An officer familiar with the development said that the four men listed by NIA are wanted for their role in planning the murder. “Our investigation had found that Praveen’s murder was a retaliation to the killing of a Muslim man, 19-year-old Masood. While those who have been arrested were behind the murder. PFI workers were behind the conspiracy and other support,” said the officer.

The gang behind the murder of the BJYM leader had identified at least three targets, including Nettaru, to take revenge on the killing of Masood, a daily-wage earner from Kasaragod in Kerala who was staying with his grandfather in Bellare, said a senior officer who was part of the probe into the Nettaru murder.

The team probing the Nettaru murder case said that one of the suspects arrested on Thursday, Shiyab, is one of the main conspirators and the main attacker. Police said that apart from Nettaru, the gang had identified two others as potential targets, but zeroed in on the BJP youth wing leader because he roamed around without associates, unlike the other targets.

On September 7, NIA conducted searches at multiple locations in Karnataka in connection with the case, The NIA carried out searches at 33 locations in three districts of the state. “During these raids information about a larger conspiracy has surfaced and four accused have been missing since then,” the officer added.

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