Money dispute motive for killing of City realtors: Police

Victims were found beheaded in Kollegal forests

Money dispute is suspected to be the motive for the brutal murder of two real estate agents from HSR Layout in Kollegal taluk, Chamarajanagar district on Tuesday even as six people from the City have been detained for questioning. 

The victims — Biju Thomas, 35, and Suji Thomas, 38, residents of Silver Oak Apartments, Doddasannehalli — had to repay huge loans they had taken to invest in some oil business in Dubai. The business venture, however, failed to take off and they defaulted on the repayments.

But the lenders were unwilling to give them relief and continued to pressure them for repayment. Police suspect that some of them might have conspired to murder the duo. Preliminary investigations point at money dispute as a probable motive, the HSR Layout police said. 

Suji reporterly owed Rs two crore to a man named Arun T Rao who had made a complaint against him to the Byappanahalli police sometime ago. The HSR Layout police said they would question Rao and he was expected to throw light on the crime. 

Hailing from Kerala, the victims were partners in a real estate enterprise. They had gone missing on February 7. Biju’s then lodged a missing complaint at the HSR Layout police station. The Kollegal police, who had discovered the headless bodies near a rivulet in the forests of Kollegal taluk, were looking for people who went missing recently in the State. The description of the bodies matched with that of Biju and Suji. 

Police are, however, not fully certain about the identity of the decease. The assailants had beheaded the victims to avoid identification. Later, they partially burnt the bodies. Police searched for the heads in the rivulet on Thursday, suspecting that the assailants might have thrown them in the water body. Their efforts, however, did not fructify. The bodies were identified on the basis of a ring on a finger of one of the victims. Suji’s brother-in-law identified the ring as Suji’s. Police said they would go for a DNA test for official confirmation. 

Meanwhile, the Kollegal police have detained six people from the City for questioning. Two of them have been identified as B Verma and Victor. 

A special police team, formed to investigate the murder, has got to work in the City, according to a senior officer. The call data records of the victims’ mobile phones are being examined and their families members and close friends questioned about possible rivalries and motives. The officer further said that the murders appeared to the handiwork of contract workers. 

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