In a major twist to the death of BJP District General Secretary Balachandra Kalagi, the police probe has now revealed that the leader’s death was in fact a meticulously planned murder.
Addressing a press conference here, on Friday, Superintendent of Police Dr Suman D Pennekar said that the road mishap which took place in Mekeri near Madikeri on March 19, was an act of vendetta by the rivals of Kalagi.
Sampath Kumar (34) of Kallugundi, Hariprasad (36) of Sampaje and lorry driver Jagan (34), a resident of Gaulibeedi, Madikeri, have been arrested in this connection. Jagan was offered a ‘Supari’ (contract) of Rs 1.50 lakh by Sampath Kumar to carry out the dreaded task by deliberately ramming the lorry into Kalagi’s car, she added.
When Balachandra Kalagi was the president of Sampaje Gram Panchayat, he had denied permission to construct a recreation club in the village, to be built by Sampath Kumar and Hariprasad.
Again, in March 2018, both the arrested had planned to open a wine shop in Sampaje village. Kalagi had led a protest against the same and was successful in scrapping the permit.
Angered Sampath and Hariprasad began planning to murder Kalagi to get rid of him permanently. The BJP leader’s movements were being watched keenly by the arrested for several months, Suman said.
On March 19, when Kalagi was returning home in his Omni vehicle, a speeding lorry rammed Kalagi’s vehicle at Mekeri. He breathed his last on the way to the hospital. It was made to appear that the incident was a road accident, she added.
Kalagi’s uncle Rajaram Kalagi submitted a police complaint on March 20, suspecting a foul play. The district BJP leaders too, had urged for the probe.
“The case was cracked with the help of circumstantial evidences. The accused have confessed to the crime and all the three have been remanded in judicial custody. The accused have stated that Kalagi was also posing obstructions in their political career and hence they decided to murder him,” SP added.
Suman, further, said that the investigations were still on. A charge sheet will be filed to the court after a detailed probe. A road accident case was registered initially. With the permission of court, cases have been filed against the arrested for murdering and destroying evidences.
The SP has announced cash prize for the team of police personnel comprising Madikeri DySP K S Sundarraj, Rural Circle Inspector Siddaiah, Rural PSI Chetan, PSI Shravan, police personnel Shravan, Dinesh, Shivaraj, Ravi, Anil, Manjunath, CDR department staff Rajesh, Girish, Sunil and Arun which cracked the case.