Madikeri: In a major twist, the death of District Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Balachandra Kalagi has turned out to be a planned murder. The death was believed to be caused due to an accident until the Kodagu district police arrested three persons in the death case.
The accused are identified as Sampath Kumar (34) and Hari Prasad (36) from Sampaje and Jayan alias Jaggu (34) from Madikeri.
Speaking at a press conference regarding the case, District Superintendent of Police Dr. Suman D Pennekar, said that the reason behind the murder was related to a Bar and a Recreation Club.
The police arrested all the three accused on Friday, March 29. During the interrogation, it was revealed that Sampath and Hari had plotted for one month to murder Kalagi. Sampath gave a contract to Jayan to murder Kalagi. Jayan as told by Sampath, ran over his lorry on Kalagi's Omni van, when he was driving from Madikeri to Sampaje, on March 19, at around 6.30 PM. Sampath had promised Jayan to clear his loan of Rs 1.5 Lakh taken on the lorry if he murdered Kalagi.
Further enquiry revealed that two years ago, Sampath and Hari wanted to open a Recreation Club in Sampaje. However, Kalagi who was the Gram Panchayat President refused permission for the club. In March 2018, the duo tried to open a bar in Sampaje but Kalagi again gathered people, protested against the opening of the bar and succeeded in having its license cancelled. Again in April 2018, when Sampath filed a case in Sulia police station that his JCB was missing, Kalagi had allegedly used his influence to obstruct the investigation. Enraged by all this, Sampath and Hari plotted the murder of Kalagi. On March 19, Sampath followed Kalage from Sampaje to Madikeri and on the way back made a call to his friend Jayan and told him to run over Kalagi's van. Jayan ran over Kalagi's van near Thalathmane.
The lorry and swift car used for the murder have been seized by the police.
Under the guidance of DySP K S Sundar Raj, Madikeri Rural Circle Inspector Siddaiah, Sub Inspector Chethan, PSI Shravan, constables Dinesh, Shivaraju, Ravi, Anil, Manjunath, CDR department's Rajesh, Girish, drivers Sunil and Arun conducted the operation to nab the accused.
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