Arrested Bengaluru journalist Ravi Belagere kept asking cops for cigarettes, blank papers

CCB sleuths seize his laptop; second wife leaves city to avoid being questioned; cops say tabloid editor lent financial help to supari killers earlier.

Published: 10th December 2017 03:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th December 2017 12:08 PM   |  A+A-

Journalist Ravi Belagere being taken for mahazar on Saturday;

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: A day after tabloid editor Ravi Belagere’s senational arrest in a hit job case, Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials on Saturday took him to the residences of his two wives as well as his office as part of investigation. He was arrested for allegedly hiring contract killers to murder his former colleague Suneel Heggaravalli.

The residence of Belagere’s wife Yashomati, which was raided by CCB sleuths | JITHENDRA M

Meanwhile, a special team is on the lookout for Viju Badigera, an associate of contract killer Mundewadi, and a relative of Mundewadi. Belagere’s second wife Yashomati left the city along with her sister to avoid being questioned by the CCB.

READ Hitman worked at Bengaluru journalist Ravi Belagere’s school, office: Police

A senior police officer said Belagere was subjected to a medical test due to his ill health before the interrogation began on Saturday. “Later, the officials took him for a spot mahazar in Uttarahalli where he allegedly met with Mundewadi and planned to shoot Heggaravalli,” the officer said. The shooters could not kill Heggaravalli as he was walking in his apartment. Besides, their view was also blocked by a wall and CCTV cameras were focused in their direction, police said.

READ Not the first time journalist Ravi Belagere tried to kill me, says former 'Hai Bangalore' employee

The CCB has also seized Belagere’s laptop and other gadgets and is verifying his phone call records. A police officer said, “Belagere first came in contact with Mundewadi when the former was writing a book titled ‘Beema Theerada Hanthakaru’. Belagere knew that Mundewadi was a supari killer and had asked the latter to bring other supari killers so that he could interview them. In fact, Belagere had extended financial help to some of the members, including Mundewadi,” the officer said.

During the interrogation on Saturday, Belagere reportedly asked the police for blank papers in order to write down his statement for the CCB. The officer added, “He also kept asking for cigarettes but the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) did not allow him to smoke repeatedly. When he was taken to his wife Yashomati’s house, he started asking the CCB staff as to why they brought him here,” the officer said.

CCB raids Ravi Belagere’s farmhouse

CCB sleuths reached Burbasa village in Joida taluk of Uttara Kannada district where Belagere owns a farmhouse. Five police personnel checked papers, written copies of books and a laptop belonging to Belagere. Belagere was in his farmhouse at Burbusa for a couple of days before going to Bengaluru. He used to visit the farmhouse once a month. Police checked the farmhouse for four hours from 11.30am.

My father is innocent: Bhavana Belagere

DHARWAD: Ravi Belegere’s daughter Bhavana Belagere said her confidence was innocent and added that there is no solid evidence to prove the allegations against him. Moreover, Sunil Heggaravalli, Belagere’s colleague, has not yet registered a written complaint against him, she said. She is all set to travel to Bangaluru to discuss the matter with her family members.

Even now, my life is under threat, says Heggaravalli

BENGALURU: A senior police officer investigating the alleged supari case said, a few months back, Mundewadi disguised himself as a courier employee and called Suneel Heggaravalli stating that he had a book to deliver. “Heggaravalli called the publishers of the book and was told that no book had been dispatched,” the officer said.

Heggaravalli dismissed the issue then, but when the controversy erupted, he recalled this incident and approached the police for help. Suneel has mentioned about the incident, police said. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime -2) Jinendra Kangavi told Express, “We have recorded Heggaravalli’s statement and will take a statement from him.

The information which he has shared is being verified. Mundewadi will be in our custody till December 18 and Ravi Belagere will be in custody till Monday.” Heggaravalli told Express, “I have given my statement to the police. The plot to kill me was hatched way back in 2014. Even now, my life is under threat.” His wife Suchita said she was shocked to know that her husband’s close associate planned to kill him. “Ravi mentored Suneel as a journalist and a friend. The talk about an illicit affair is also false. Our family needs protection,” she said.



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