BENGALURU: Police investigating the murder of 33-year-old techie Prajeeth Anand suspect his friends’ involvement. They said that the leads from his call details showed that he had asked them to return the money he had lent them on various occasions and this could have been the motive for murder.
Anand was found with his throat slit about 3 km from his house on the night of November 5. Two of his friends, Vikas and Dheeraj, have been missing since the night of the
murder. Police officials investigating the case said they were able to track Vikas’ phone only for about 17 hours after the murder.
The police moved a step closer to unravelling the murder mystery after they unlocked Anand’s phone. They have got recordings of the conversations between Anand and his close friend Vikas, to whom Anand had lent close to `3 lakh.
The police found Anand’s phone on his person and tried unlocking it using various passwords, but in vain.
Later, they gave the phone to his brother Praneeth who too attempted various numbers to unlock the phone. Finally, Praneeth keyed in the registration number of Anand’s bike, a Pulsar, and unlocked the phone.
“If our suspicions are true, the motive for the murder is quite clear,” a police official investigating the case said.
Listening to the various recordings on the phone, the police believe that Vikas owed Anand money.
“Most of the money was loaned to Vikas during frequent trips they made together to Ooty, Belgaum and other places. They made these trips every few weeks and over the course of time, Anand loaned Vikas close to `3 lakh. In a recent conversation, Anand asked Vikas to return the money,” police officials said.
Over the last month, there have been various conversations where Anand and Vikas argued over how much money was owed. It was decided that Vikas would return the `3 lakh on November 5. The police said that the day before the murder, Vikas had called Anand and told him that the money would be returned to him on November 5. On the 5th, when Anand got a call from Vikas, he thought it was to return the money. “We are not sure exactly what took place in the car, whether Vikas planned the murder and who all were in the know. Once we question his friends, we may get answers. But the needle of suspicion points strongly in their direction,” a police official said.