Co-operative society cashier got Mahantesh murdered

The City police have arrested four men in connection with the murder of S P Mahantesh, the Deputy Director of Department of Co-operative Audit.

Kiran Kumar, Shivakumar, two of the four arrested in connection with  Mahantesh's murder case

Putting to rest all speculations, the police on Thursday said that the murder was a fallout of Mahantesh’s auditing work at a co-operative society.

According to Police Commissioner Jyothiprakash Mirji, the murder was committed by four men, all friends, hired by a cashier employed with the Sahakarnagar Co-operative Credit Society.

Kiran Kumar (23), the cashier, was feared Mahantesh may expose his role in misappropriating funds.

On May 15, Kumar made a call to his friends - Ayyappa, 24, Shivakumar, 28, and Murali, 29 - informing them that Mahantesh had left the Society premises after meeting the senior staff. On receiving the call, the trio followed Mahantesh, along with another person who is absconding, in a Tata Indica car.

“They wanted to attack him at Mekhri Circle, but dropped the idea as there was heavy traffic. They also did not want to commit the act in public. They followed Mahantesh in the car till Hotel Atria and rammed his vehicle from behind. When Mahantesh got off the car, they assaulted him with a wicket,” Mirji said.

According to the police, Kumar was given employment by the Society on compassionate grounds four years ago after his father’s death. Questions have been raised as to how  a  Society with a Rs 40-crore business gave the job of a cashier to a 19-year-old. Police say that Kumar had completed his BCom through correspondence after PUC.

The question as to how Kumar managed to evade the auditors for the last four years begs answers. Police are also looking into who audited the accounts of the Society over the years.

Kumar was allegedly embezzling the Society’s money to fund his nefarious activities like gambling and visiting prostitutes. “He also hired killers using the same money,” Mirji added. It is claimed that Ayyappa, Murali and Shiva were paid Rs 2,000 each for the attack on Mahantesh.

When quizzed on the extent of embezzlement, Mirji said the matter was being investigated.

The police commissioner was also unable to confirm whether the attack was meant just to scare him, or there was an intent to murder him.

All the four accused were produced before the court and remanded in judicial custody.

Family relieved

The arrest of four people in connection with the murder has brought great relief to the family members of Mahantesh. They are also happy that efforts by some people to link Mahantesh’s name with call girls had failed.

“I am relieved. I thank the police for having solved my son’s murder case,” Mahantesh’s father Puttanaiah said. “I always had trust in the police. The truth has finally come out as the police have given my son a clean chit,” he told the media.

The victim’s sister Shailaja said her brother’s death was a huge loss for Mahantesh’ wife Poornima and daughters, Deepika and Ragini. “It’s a vacuum that can never be filled. My brother was the only breadwinner for the family. Though we can’t get him back, the arrests of the suspects has given us some relief,” she added.

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