Bengaluru, Mar 13: The police have solved the murder case of gangster Lakshmana by arresting six persons including a 21-year-old girl, who is said to be the mastermind of the crime.
42-year-old Lakshmana, touted to be one of the richest rowdies of Karnataka, worth more than Rs 600 crore, was hacked to death in broad daylight on March 7 in Bengaluru’s Mahalakshmi Layout. He was released on bail a few days ago.
The arrested have been identified as Varshini Harish (21) resident of Jnanabharathi, her boyfriend Rupesh R alias Rupesh Gowda (25), resident of RR Nagar and native of Channapatna, and petty rowdies Devaraj alias Kariya (24) resident of Nagarabhavi, Varun Kumar (24) resident of Vijayanagara, Hemanth Kumar alias Hemi, Madhu Kumar (21) resident of Magadi Road and Alok (24) native of Maddur. The CCB police had arrested Raja alias Cat Raja on March 9; another accused, Akash, is yet to be arrested.
Roopesh, who moved to Bengaluru and started a dance class near Nagarbhavi, got Varshini to pretend to be enamoured by Lakshmana, police said. He approached Hemanth Kumar, a contract killer in Mandya and the main accused in the murders of Jadeja Ravi and Ambode, rowdies in Mandya district. Hemanth contacted Cat Raja in Bengaluru and sought his help to kill Lakshmana.
The accused planned to lure Lakshmana into travelling alone and used Varshini, who had recently shifted to London to pursue studies, for the task. On Roopesh’s instruction, she informed Lakshmana over phone she was coming to Bengaluru soon, police said.
“Varshini had left for London to pursue an MSc in psychology and continued messaging and calling Lakshmana on WhatsApp,” the officer said. “She recently called Lakshmana to say she was coming to Bengaluru and asked him to book a room for her and take her out for few days. He booked a hotel room in Mahalakshmi Layout. Varshini was keeping Roopesh updated about Lakshmana’s movements.”
“Lakshmana was expecting Varshini here on March 7 and was on his way to the hotel in his Innova after meeting a friend,” he said. “Varshini, who was still in London, learnt that Lakshmana was alone and driving the car. She alerted Roopesh and gangsters. Cat Raja and his associates tailed Lakshmana and cornered him near Mysore Sandal Soap Factory, where they hacked him to death around 12.30pm.”
Varshini and Roopesh wanted revenge against Lakshmana for intervening in their relationship, the officer said. “Hemanth also had scores to settle with Lakshmana who had opposed him in a land deal last year,” he said. “Cat Raja and others wanted to avenge Maccha Manja’s murder a decade ago, which he believed Lakshmana had carried out.”
Police said that Chaitra N, Lakshmana’s wife, told police that her husband left home minutes after he received a WhatsApp call from Varshini on March 7. Police confirmed that Varshini was still in London on the day of Lakshmana’s murder. They said she came to Bengaluru so police would not suspect her involvement in the crime. Police arrested her shortly after she arrived in Bengaluru on Monday night.
“Several others involved in the case are still at large,” police said. Cops detained Cat Raja on Saturday after they shot him in the legs near Peenya. Hemanth was arrested on Tuesday morning near Jnanabharathi after police shot him in the right leg.
Varshini was eight when Lakshmana got married to Chaitra 13 years ago. As Varshini father, Moote Harish, and mother, Padma, were close to Lakshmana she got along with Lakshmana.
But as years went by, Lakshmana became attracted to Varshini; so much so that he tried to woo her with money and costly gifts. Preliminary investigation has revealed that Lakshmana had a lot of benami properties, which were managed by Harish and Padma.
Soon after the arrest of Varshini, Chaitra, wife of Lakshmana, posted on her Facebook account that Varshini used to call Lakshmana uncle, and Lakshmana, in turn, loved her as his own daughter. But both mother and daughter had murdered him, said Chaitra.
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