It's political rivalry, says corporator

Nagaraj would not have lost his life had he participated in a protest rally in front of the Town Hall at noon Friday, Venkatesh Babu, Kottigepalya corporator, said.

The contractor changed his mind at the eleventh hour in order to complete road repair work, Babu told Deccan Herald.

The corporator said political rivalry was the main reason for the murder. “Nagaraj always shared with me whatever information he had on any issue. He targeted antisocials and rowdies in Rajagopalnagar and was close to police officers. Narayan alias Nani is a close associate of Congress leader Honnagiri Gowda who I defeated in elections. What Nagaraj was to me, Nani was to Gowda. Hence, I don’t rule out  political rivalry behind the murder,” Babu said.

M Srinivas, BJP MLA from Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly constituency, described Nagaraj as honest. “He executed the BBMP-assigned works in the past three years and he never indulged in violence. He gained prominence quickly. I suspect rowdy elements murdered him as he was a hurdle for them,” he added. Family members alleged Nagaraj was murdered by Nani and Dilip, who indulged in eve-teasing, gambling, chain-snatching and other crimes.

Nagaraj would inform the jurisdictional police about their illegal activities, his brother Venkatesh said. “Nani and Dilip terrorised local residents. They harassed people demanding money (roll call). Nagaraj had lodged complaints against them twice. Since then, they were conspiring to kill my brother,” he added.

The two men had quarrelled with Nagaraj four months after he informed the police about their criminal activities. The police arrested the two. After their release from jail, Nani and Dilip vowed to take revenge, Venkatesh said.

The two targeted Nagaraj and his family members on several occasions earlier. They had picked a fight with Venkatesh’s son Bharath two years ago over two-wheeler. Bharath had filed a complaint with the Basaveshwarnagar which led to their arrest, he said.

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