BENGALURU: The Central Crime Branch (CCB) on Friday arrested journalist and editor of Kannada weekly 'Hai Bangalore', Ravi Belagere, on the charges of giving 'supari' (contract to kill) to a sharpshooter to kill his former employee and journalist Suneel Heggaravalli. A pistol and a double barrel gun were seized from Belagere's residence.
N Satish Kumar, joint commissioner (crime) said that a CCB team arrested Ravi Belagare from his residence in Padmanabhanagar. The team is interrogating Belagare on charges of criminal conspiracy.
“CCB police had recently arrested a couple of sharpshooters and during the interrogation, they revealed the name of Ravi Belagere. One of the supari killer Shashidhar Mundevadigi told the police that Ravi Belagere had given him a contract to kill Sunil Heggaravalli, a journalist with 'Hai Bangalore' over a personal rivalry. Based on his statement, Ravi Belagere is being questioned. A pistol and double barrel gun were seized from the Belagere house during the arrest. We are verifying the documents of the weapons to see if they were licensed or illegal stock,” Kumar said.
It is suspected that Heggaravalli was having an illicit relationship with the second wife of Belagere which could be the motive behind the hit order. However, the police are yet to ascertain the exact motive. Around Rs 30 lakh was given to Mundevadagi and his gang to finish Heggaravalli, another officer said.
Belagere and another journalist Anil Raj had been in the centre of controversy recently as the state assembly had passed a unanimous resolution calling for their arrest in a breach of privilege case. However, the High Court had asked the government to not take adverse action against Belagere and Raj till the matter could be heard.