Mangaluru, Oct 8 (IANS) Unidentified assailants allegedly opened fire at a businessman involved in sand mining and stone quarry, and then hacked him to death in Dakshina Kannada district early Thursday, the police said.
According to the police, the victim, identified as Sampath, was a key accused in the murder of BJP leader Samaje Kalagi Balachandra in Madikeri a year ago.
Sullia taluk is 85 kms from Mangaluru, and is best known for its famous Kukke Subramanya temple located here.
The police added that although two of the five masked assailants had carried single barrel guns and opened fire at him, they also attacked him with a machete and hacked him to death at Shantinagara in Sullia taluk.
The victim had been out on bail and started living in Shantinagara for the last six months alone in a rented accommodation when he was attacked.
Speaking to IANS, Dakshin Kannada Superintendent of Police, B.M. Lakshmi Prasad said that their prima facie investigations reveal that the victim did not receive any bullet injuries but it is clear that he was attacked with machete and assailants had chased him and hit him hard on his head with the machete.
“The victim was in the car when the first attacker attacked him with the machete and another from the window side. Alarmed by the unexpected attack, the victim took his car in reverse gear as a result of which his car rammed into a gate of another house. He left his car and started running to save himself from attackers,” he explained.
The police added that at this point, perhaps two attackers must have opened fire at him as a consequence of this, the victim entered another house, but by then the attackers had reached him and first they kicked him on his chest and hacked him to death.
The SP categorically ruled out any political rivalry involved in this but certainly this was more of a personal rivalry between Ramachandra who was allegedly murdered by contract killers in Madikeri. “The victim had hired a killer to eliminate his rival businessman Ramachandra last year in Madikeri,” he said.
The deceased would visit his acquaintance Ramakrishna, a resident of Shantinagar, and stayed with him some days. Sampath had stayed at his Shantinagar acquaintance’s house on Wednesday and on Thursday morning around 6.30 am, when he was returning home in his car, he was ambushed by five masked attackers.
The Sullia police have registered a case and investigations are on.