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Stroke of luck saved 'Hai Bangalore' employee from journalist Ravi Belagere's murder plot

‘Hai Bangalore’s former employee Suneel Heggaravalli, the man who was the target of a contract killing planned by journalist Ravi Belagere, is lucky to be alive today.

Published: 09th December 2017 01:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th December 2017 12:24 PM   |  A+A-

Journalist Ravi Belagere being taken by the police for interrogation, in Bengaluru on Friday | S Manjunath

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: ‘Hai Bangalore’s former employee Suneel Heggaravalli, the man who was the target of a contract killing, is lucky to be alive today.

READ  | How the Gauri Lankesh probe helped crack murder plot hatched by Belagere

After the August 28 meeting between Ravi Belagere, contract killer Shashidhar Mundewadi and his associate Viju Badigera at the former’s office in Padmanabhanagar, Belagere’s office boy had led the two contract killers to Heggaravalli’s residence in Uttarahalli. The next day, Mundewadi lay in wait outside the house to kill him, but luckily for Heggaravalli, he did not step out that day.

ALSO READ | Stories about Bengaluru's underworld made journalist Ravi Belagere famous

According to police, no time frame was set for the task to be carried out. So Mundewadi returned the weapons and ammunition to Belagere saying that he would finish the job the following month. However, that never happened and before long, interrogation of a gun dealer led to the plot being exposed.

Heggaravalli on Friday expressed shock upon learning about the alleged plot to eliminate him. He said he had not expected Belagere to stoop to such low levels. “I worked with him for 14 years and didn’t have any serious rivalry with him. I don’t know what led him to such a step. I appreciate that police took up a suo motu case,” he said. Later, the CCB police recorded Heggaravalli’s statement.

READ | Bengaluru journalist Ravi Belagere arrested by CCB for paying 'supari' to kill former employee

Sources said that both Heggaravalli and Belagere had joined a Kannada news channel a few years ago. Belagere was initially the CEO and when his health started failing, Heggaravalli had taken over. Later, they had a fight and Heggaravalli left the city for a while. A few months ago, Belagere is said to have called him on the phone and invited him to join his publication Hai Bangalore and convinced him that their dispute would be a matter of the past.

Police sources said this move could have been made with an intention of drawing suspicion away from Belagere.

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