Mangaluru, Jan 11: The Mangaluru city police arrested four persons in connection with the mysterious death of a young businessman. Umesh Shetty, a resident of Kelanjur village, who had given old currency notes on loan days after announcement of demonetisation, was killed by his close friend and accomplices when he failed to repay them in legal tender.
Announcing the arrests of Prasad Acharya, 27, Rajesh Shetty, 32, Tilak Poojary, 26 and Prakash, 28, on Wednesday, M Chandra Sekhar, city police commissioner said that on December 28, a missing complaint of Umesh Shetty was registered at Mulki Police and on New Year's Day, his body was found at a remote place at Niddodi Village.
The special police team formed to investigate the case sensed that the person was murdered, but had no single clue to start their investigation with. "The investigation took a turn when police recovered Umesh Shetty's wallet. Based on technical and other evidences, police have arrested four persons and few other are absconding," the top cop added.
Explaining the reason behind the murder of 30-year-old transporter Umesh, the top cop said that Umesh had a good reputation in his village and was known for his hard work. He had recently sold his property worth several lakh. As he had money at home, Prasad Acharya, a close friend of Umesh, asked him to lend some money as he was constructing a house but Umesh did not agree to this.
However, things changed when PM Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of high value currency notes on November 8. Prasad again approached Umesh for money and this time, Umesh gave him the demonetised notes of the face value of Rs 30 lakh to pay off his house construction dues. Prasad promised Umesh that he will return the money by March.
Umesh, who sensed that Prasad had no intention of returning the money, started demanding the same from him. To avoid the continuous pestering, Prasad who knew that Umesh had plans to obtain a stone quarry on lease, called him on December 28, to show him a quarry that he was interested in. Later, Prasad and the other accused took him to a remote location, strangulated him using a dupatta and dumped his body 10km away from the spot at Niddodi.
Police team from North sub-division, after interrogating several persons, arrested the prime accused Prasad Acharya, resident of Nadugodu village; Rajesh Shetty, resident of Niddodi, Thilak Poojary, resident of Niddodi and Prakash, resident of Mudigere. Among the four, the first three work as crane operators in MRPL and MCF and Prakash is a carpenter.
Chandra Sekhar announced a cash award of Rs 15,000 and appreciation certificates to the investigating team. He also made a special mention of hardwork of probationary PSI Maruti in cracking the case.