In the wee hours of Sunday, a shop owner was stabbed to death by a call centre employee in Mahalakshmi Layout, after they quarrelled over a trivial issue.
Manjunath (45), the owner of Sai Condiments, and a resident of 17th main road in JC Nagar, died on the way to the hospital. Manjunath’s son, Manoj (20), a BBA student, who suffered stab injuries, is being treated. The accused Akash (24), a call centre employee in Marathahalli, and a resident of Rajajinagar, was shifted to MS Ramaiah hospital as his finger was cut in the scuffle.
A senior police officer said that Akash had visited his friend, Yoganand’s house in Nagarbhavi on Saturday night for a party, and was returning Sunday morning on his Royal Enfield. Around 5:30 am, as Akash was approaching Mahalakshmi Layout, Manjunath had just opened up his condiments shop. After sweeping the road, Manjunath sprinkled water to get rid of the dust. Within seconds, a speeding Akash came in, lost the balance of the bike and fell in front of the shop. After pulling himself together, Akash argued with Manjunath alleging that the sprinkled water on the road was the reason for the fall.
Meanwhile, Manjunath’s wife, Gowramma (40) and son, Manoj came along. A small crowd had gathered. Local youth who joined in support of Manjunath started beating Akash up. Later, with the intervention of the elders in the area, all left the place, a police officer said. Akash, however, returned to the spot after 10 minutes and the situation intensified. Another fight ensued and in a fit of rage, Akash stabbed Manjunath on the chest. He also stabbed Manoj, who was approaching with an iron rod, on the back. Akash’s finger was cut when the onlookers tried to snatch the knife from him.
According to the police, the situation could have been avoided if Akash hadn’t returned. The Mahalakshmi Layout Police rushed all three to the hospital, but, Manjunath was declared brought dead.
What about the knife?
Chetan Singh Rathore, DCP (North), said: “We have to find out how the knife reached Akash - whether he brought it when he returned or Manjunath’s family had a knife and Akash snatched it during the fight; the matter has to be investigated. There is a complaint and a counter-complaint in the case.”
‘Back for helmet’
In a contradictory statement to the police, Akash claimed he was beaten up by 10 to 15 people. He had returned to the spot to get his helmet, he said. According to Akash, as the crowd saw him approach, they assumed he had come back again to pick up a fight, and they assaulted him. One person, meanwhile, brought the knife out from the shop and tried to stab him as he snatched it from him, claimed Akash. As all were beating him, he tried to escape and swung the knife at the crowd. Manjunath was injured in the incident, but, he had no intention to kill him, Akash’s statement to the police said.