Bengaluru, Oct 18: The Central Division police on Saturday opened fire and arrested four men who were behind the murder of Manish alias Sarvottam Shetty, 41, on October 15. Police suspect underworld rivalry but are yet to ascertain the gang’s affiliation or motive behind the murder.
Manish was shot and then stabbed to death outside Duet Bar, which he owned, on Rest House Road in front of eyewitnesses. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP, Central Division) M.N. Anucheth said that the accused were arrested based on evidence gathered from CCTV footage.
The accused have been identified as Shashikiran, Akshay, Ganesh, and Nitya. After tracking the four men to a lodge in Gandhinagar, the police took them to Barlane Cemetery, Hosur Road, to recover the machete that they had used. “While at the cemetery, Shashikiran and Akshay attacked the escort police in a bid to escape. The police warned them and later fired at their legs to stop them from fleeing,” said a senior police officer.
The two injured accused were later shifted to St. Philomena’s Hospital.
The hit on Manish was a well planned one, said police sources. The accused had been following Manish to gather details of his routine from his residence in Bhoopasandra to his workplace for more than a month.
Shashikiran is a habitual offender with several criminal cases pending against him. “The probe has revealed that the murder could be due to old rivalry, but further investigation is on to ascertain the exact reason and the person behind the murder,” a senior police officer said.
Police sources said they have reason to suspect that underworld operative Vicky Shetty was behind it. Shetty, believed to be operating out of Dubai, reportedly called up a Kannada news channel and owned up to the murder on Friday. The police are verifying whether the caller was indeed Vicky. “A close associate of his, Kishan Hegade, was murdered over a business rivalry in Mangaluru and the hit was allegedly financed by Manish. We suspect that in retaliation, Vicky engaged the four accused to eliminate Manish,” said a police source. Incidentally, the Udupi police, who arrested nine people in connection with Hedge’s murder, have not uncovered underworld links or Manish’s role in the hit.