Five held for bid on Kodagu BJP leader's life

Kodagu police on Tuesday night arrested five men in connection with the attempt on the life of Kodagu BJP unit president Suja Kushalappa.

The arrested have been identified as M B Harris, 23, a resident of Virajpet, M A Rashik, 28, of Bettageri village in Madikeri taluk, H U Aashiq, 31, a resident of Suntikoppa, V Faisal, 31, a resident of Calicut in Kerala, and V M Sulemaan, 48, a resident of Ernakulam in Kerala. Superintendent of Police M N Anuchetan told mediapersons here on Wednesday that all the arrested have been remanded in judicial custody.

A manhunt has been launched to nab five others who assisted the accused and police teams have been sent to Kerala, Mangalore and other places, he added.

The accused open fired at Kushalappa, brother of Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan, when he arrived at the sub-registrar office in Virajpet on January 9 around 4 pm. Kushalappa suffered bullet wounds in the neck while both hands of his son were injured after being attacked with lethal weapons. The accused fled in a car after the victims fired at them, he added

During the interrogation, Harris, the prime accused, reportedly confessed to hatching the murder plan suspecting Kushalappa’s hand in his brother’s (Abdul Lathif) murder in 2012, Anuchetan said. Harris had agreed to pay Rs 15 lakh for the murder and had made an advance of Rs five lakh to the four other accused, he added.

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