Temple priest, missing for three months, 'murdered'

Temple priest, missing for three months, 'murdered'; financial row suspected

Suspect confessed to killing, but police yet to find the body

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

A 57-year-old temple priest who went missing three months ago has reportedly been killed over a financial row.

Investigating the case, Kadugodi police said a suspect whom they detained had confessed to killing Neelakanta Dixit, residing in Kadugodi near Nanjundeshwara temple on Teru Beedi.

Neelakanta’s family members said he has been missing since September 5 and they had filed a missing complaint. Two days ago, they filed another complaint raising suspicions over the involvement of a person called Manjunath in his disappearance.

Police detained and interrogated Manjunath, who confessed to killing Neelakanta. “He showed us the location where he disposed of the body. When we went to the spot, we couldn’t locate the body. We will trace the body in a day or two. If Manjunath’s claim is proven, further action will be taken against him,” a senior officer said.

Neelakanta was a priest at the Kashi Vishwanatha temple in Kadugodi, his brother Narasimha Murthy told police. The family obtained money by selling their property and they bought land in Mysuru, Nanjangud and other places.

Neelakanta lent the remaining money through a person named Anjaneya Reddy. He gave Rs 10 lakh to Manjunath two years ago without Reddy’s knowledge. Manjunath paid the interest for a few months, but soon the payments became irregular.

Neelakanta demanded repayment of his money from Manjunath and warned him that he would inform his wife and father-in-law about the deal.

Manjunath, a businessman, asked Neelakanta to give him some time since his business was down due to the pandemic. Neelakanta insisted that he should at least pay the interest on time.

Manjunath then kidnapped Neelakanta and killed him. Police, however, will confirm his death only after finding the body.

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