Rival's thugs butchered Nataraj

Rival's thugs butchered Nataraj

Murugan Arts owner bankrolled killers; police take 9 into custody for interrogation

Rival's thugs butchered Nataraj

in the net: Commissioner of Police Jyothiprakash Mirji with the accused in Nataraj murder case at the Office of the Commissioner of Police on Monday. Dh Photo

Nataraj and Murugan Arts owner R Murugan, both belonging to different political parties, contested the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike poll from Gandhinagar Ward last year. The political rivalry turned into personal enmity after Nataraj defeated Murugan, which eventually ended in Nataraj’s murder.

A former corporator is said to have supported the suspects financially. Police produced nine suspects before the court and took them into custody for interrogation till October 22. “We will thoroughly probe the case,” the commissioner said.

The suspects

The suspects are Mohan B C, 24, a native of Koppa in Chikmagalur district and a resident of JC Nagar Kurubarahalli; V Srinivas alias Seena alias Tikkala Krishna, 29, a native of Thyamagondlu and a resident of Manjunanthnagar; Vijay Kumar alias Viji, 23, native of Koppa and a resident of JC Nagar, Kurubarahalli; Girish D R, 28, a native of Tumkur and a resident of Mahadeshwarnagar; Mani, 30, a native of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu and a resident of Risaldar Street, Seshadripuram; P R Murugan, 45, a resident of Risaldar Street; Paul A alias Rajendra, 27, Gandhinagar; Mahesh D R, 24, a native of Tumkur and a resident of Srirampuram, and Ashok, 29, a native of Sankolli in Nagamangala and a resident of Bangarappanagar.

Two suspects, Naveen and Nagesh, are at large. Police recovered a car (CKH 4362), four sharp-edged weapons, a dagger and cellphones used in the crime. V Srinivas is a salesman, and Girish and Mahesh are car drivers.

Mani is a close aide of Murugan and Rajendra, Nataraj’s man Friday. Murugan managed to win the confidence of Rajendra who had worked closely with Nataraj for the past 10 years. Rajendra allegedly passed on information to Murugan about Nataraj’s moves and Murugan reciprocated by paying him money for the favour.

Murugan, Rajendra, Mohan and Ashok meticulously plotted Nataraj’s murder, while others executed it. Girish was the facilitator between the plotters and the executors, the police commissioner said.

Murugan had given a ‘supari’ of Rs 25 lakh to the suspects to murder Nataraj and had made an advance payment of Rs five lakh. Murugan decided to murder Nataraj as he allegedly tortured him and his associates for the last two years. Murugan hastened the murder plans after getting wind of Nataraj’s conspiracy to bump him off.

He got in touch with Girish and Ashok through Mani and struck a deal. Murugan made an advance payment to Girish through Mani. Rajendra, police said, had been planning Nataraj’s murder for the past eight months.

The ex-corporator factor

Murugan contacted former corporator Ashok B Dani through Rajendra. Dani backed the idea to get rid of Nataraj, but he had told Murugan he didn’t want to be a part of the deal and that he would help with the logistics. Accordingly, Dani issued a cheque for Rs 1.50 lakh to Murugan to execute the plot, police said.

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