BENGALURU: Ten days after Sharath, son of an Income Tax official, was kidnapped and murdered, the city police arrested the victim’s schoolmate Vishal and were shocked to learn that Sharath was strangled to death the same night and his body thrown into a lake. The prime accused Vishal is an acquaintance of Sharath’s family.
On September 12, Sharath, a resident of Muneshwaranagar on Ullala Main Road, was kidnapped by a gang when he went to show his new motorcycle to his friends. H P Vishal (21), a student and an RTO agent at Ullal RTO, Vinay Prasad (24), a driver, Karan Pai (22), a worker at a factory in Kumbalgodu and Vinod Kumar (24), an unemployed youth, were taken into custody for questioning after Vishal revealed details about his associates. Another accused, Shanthakumar, the brother in-law of Vishal and a cab driver, is still at large. Sharath’s new motorcycle was found at the house of Vikas, a relative of Vishal. He did not tell Vikas about the incident when he parked the vehicle there.
Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar said the gang wanted to extort `50 lakh as ransom from Sharath’s parents. However, on September 12, Vishal met Sharath’s family and got to know that they had lodged a complaint with Jnana Bharati police. On learning about this, he decided to murder Sharath for fear of getting caught. Between 11.30 pm on Tuesday last and midnight they strangled Sharath in a Maruti Swift Dzire car belonging to Vinay. They then tied a boulder to the body and dumped it in the Narasimhayyana Kere. After three days, they found the body floating. They again tied a boulder and drowned it, but the body surfaced again after a few more days. They then shifted the decomposed body in a car and buried it at Kurubarapalya Bande near Ramohalli lake.
Based on the information given by the gang, police exhumed the body and post-mortem was conducted at the location itself as it was highly decomposed.Vishal started thinking of the kidnap plan when he noticed that Sharath’s father Niranjan Kumar Nair, an I-T officer hailing from Palakkad in Kerala, would give him expensive gifts like the motorcycle. Vishal and four others hatched a plan to extort money from Sharath’s father. On September 12, Vishal told Sharath about a new Benelli motorcycle that a friend had bought and said they could take it out for a ride. Sharath agreed and said he too would bring his new Royal Enfield motorcycle.
Sharath left home around 6 pm and was headed to Shirke apartments near Kengeri. He never returned home but the same night, two videos in Kannada and Malayalam were sent to Sharath’s parents on WhatsApp.In the first video, shot in a car, Sharath is seen informing his father that he has been kidnapped by someone ‘who suffered at your hands,’ and asking for a ransom of `50 lakh to free him. In the second video, Sharath said the abductors also had his sister under observation and warned his parents not to approach police.
From Suspense to Grief
6.10 PM - Sharath leaves home on his new bike, captured in CCTV camera installed at neighbour’s house.
6.30 PM - Kidnappers abduct Sharath in a cab, take him to city outskirts.
8.30 PM - Unaware of Sharath being kidnapped, his mother Vanaja sends a text message, asking him to come home soon.
9.10 PM - Family tries to contact Sharath, but his phone is switched off
10.7 PM - Vanaja receives video clips through WhatsApp.
Four special teams formed to search for the kidnappers. Officials question friends and neighbours.
A rumour spreads that Sharath had plans to go to Ladakh on his new bike. Police officials reject the theory.
Police detain Vishal based on call records. He reveals the whole murder plan.
Police exhume Sharath’s body after taking the accused to the crime spot. Post-mortem is conducted on the spot.
Around afternoon, body is cremated at Kengeri in presence of his family members and colleagues of his father.
Police take all four accused into custody for further interrogation.