The Karnataka police today (Aug 11) arrested three more men in connection with the murder of BJP youth leader Praveen Nettaru’s murder in Dakshin Kannada district’s Bellare village after a two-week-long operation that spanned neighbouring districts as well as Kerala.
Addressing the media, ADGP law and order Alok Kumar said, “Three more have been arrested in the murder case. They were arrested at Talapady check post at 8 am today."
The three arrested were identified as Shihab (33) who supplies cocoa to a private factory, Riyaz Ankathadka(27) who supplies chicken, and Basher (29) who works in a hotel. All accused hail from Sullia.
“The investigation team under SP Rishikesh Sonawane cracked the case. Suitable reward will be given to the team. Even Hassan SP Hariram Shankar and other officials helped in probing the case. Most probably, we will hand over the case to the NIA in another 3 to 4 days." he added.
“Arrested accused Shafiq’s father Ibrahim had worked in Akshaya Fresh Farm Chicken Shop (Praveen’s shop) for three months. Shafiq knew Praveen very well. The assailants were hiding at a mosque in Bekal after the murder. Five two wheelers and one car was used in the crime. The vehicles are yet to be seized,” he added.
The ADGP also indicated that that some of the accused had links to the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
Seven people were arrested earlier for allegedly providing logistical support for the murder, including the identification of Nettaru as a target.
“Since day one we have been saying that the role of the PFI and the SDPI is suspected. We also have some evidence now, but we cannot say anything on this basis alone. This will have to be further investigated,” the ADGP said. “We also have to find out why the murder was carried out. We have a vague idea of why it was done… We have to find out why Praveen was specifically targeted.”
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