Cops exhume body of financier 'murdered by borrower'

Cops exhume body of priest-cum-financier 'murdered by borrower'

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

Police have exhumed the body of a temple priest-cum-moneylender who was allegedly murdered by one of his borrowers more than three months ago. 

The highly decomposed body of Neelakanta Dixit, 57, was exhumed from under a garbage dumping yard at Tirumashettihalli Cross, East Bengaluru, on Thursday morning, said D Devaraj, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Whitefield). The BBMP had constructed a concrete structure above the ground for dumping garbage. Police dug up the spot without demolishing the structure, he added.  

Dixit, a priest at Kashi Vishwanatha temple in Kadugodi, went missing on September 5 and his brother filed a police complaint the next day. The police couldn’t make a headway in more than three months of investigation. On December 20, Dixit’s brother filed another complaint, suspecting the involvement of a local hardware trader named Manjunath K, 39. 

According to the complaint, Manjunath had borrowed Rs 10 lakh at a monthly interest of 3% from Dixit two years ago. He stopped the interest payments in May 2020. When Dixit demanded the repayment, Manjunath cited poor sales due to Covid-19 and asked for some time. Dixit, however, demanded the entire money back by September 5. 

Accordingly, he went to Manjunath’s shop in Thirumashettihalli around 8 pm that day. Assuring to repay the money, Manjunath took him into a storeroom in the shop and allegedly hit him with a blunt metal object before stabbing him multiple times. Manjunath’s employees, Gopi and Bharath alias Padi, went in after hearing screams around 8.30 pm. They stood frozen with fear upon seeing Dixit lying dead. 

Manjunath warned them against disclosing the incident and also offered them some money. He asked Gopi to guard the shop and went home. The next day, he ran the business as usual. Around midnight, he and the employees cleaned the bloodstains, wrapped the body in rags and hid it in a metal box. They then drove to Tirumashettihalli Cross in Manjunath’s car and buried the body there. 

Police say they have also arrested Gopi but two other suspects are still at large.