Bengaluru: Over 500 policemen, along with KSRP and CAR platoons, were deployed in J.C. Nagar on Thursday to prevent any untoward incident. The police said that all the shops and establishments in Chinnappa Garden remained closed on Thursday sensing trouble. The traders had voluntarily closed their shops and there was not much movement of vehicles.
Arbaz Khan, a techie and a resident of Chinnappa Garden, said, “There were no autorickhsaws and even cab drivers were hesitant to come to the area. Several residents did not send their children to schools and colleges, and remained indoors. But the entire area remained calm due to timely action by the police.” Munirathnam Swamy, a teacher in private college, said, “In the morning there was not a single autorickshaw or any other vehicle on the road. I had to walk up to Jayamahal to hire an auto. There was strict police patrolling and the area was cordoned off.”
Only after Santosh’s body arrived, people started coming out of their houses. The body was taken in a procession and the final rites were performed at Kalpalli cemetery near Cox Town. A senior police officer said, “Our men will be deployed at the area for a couple of days to ensure there is no trouble and it is a sensitive area. We have directed the officers to carry out regular patrolling.”
Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy has announced Rs10 lakh as compensation to the next of kin of the deceased.
JC Nagar tense after murder
Setting off communal tension in the city, a 28-year-old auto driver, who was allegedly a BJP worker, was stabbed to death by four men in Chinnappa Garden, J C Nagar, Wednesday evening. Shops and commercial establishments downed their shutters in the area Thursday sensing trouble and over 500 policemen rushed to the spot to contain the situation. While the murder threatened to take on political overtones as one of the accused is the son of a Congress block president of Ramaswamypalya, police said it was more likely a personal issue. Within hours of the murder the police arrested Wasim, whose father, Khader runs a bakery and is the Congress block president, a gym trainer, Philip, a labourer, Umar, and a tailor, Irfan, all residents of Chinnappa Garden.
The auto driver, Santosh, who was married only around 10 months ago was standing near a bakery at around 7.30 pm Wednesday, when Wasim and his friends arrived at the spot, going by the police. Soon a quarrel broke out and Wasim allegedly stabbed Santosh in the thigh with a screw driver.
Alerted by witnesses, the police rushed to the spot and took Santosh to a nearby private hospital, where he died as a result of his injury. Launching a manhunt, the police arrested Wasim and Philip and picked up Irfan and Umar near Palace Grounds Thursday noon while they were trying to leave the city "As soon as news of the murder broke out, people started gathering at the spot. It's claimed that Santosh recently joined the BJP Yuva Morcha in Ramaswamypalya and was seen working for it.
This seems to have made a few people angry in Chinnappa Garden. But although Wasim's father is a Congress leader, there is no political twist to the murder," said a senior police officer, explaining that preliminary investigation had revealed that Santosh and Wasim often quarrelled as the latter reportedly owed the auto driver money for ganja.
Santosh allegedly wanted Wasim and his friends to buy him liquor and cigarettes every day as a pay- off. And on Wednesday, when he demanded his money the two quarrelled, according to him.
An investigative officer however, refused to confirm any of this saying the motive for the murder could be established only after investigation.
Earlier , relatives and friends of Santosh refused to take his body to his house after the postmortem at Victoria hospital until all the accused were arrested.
It was only after city police commissioner, T Suneel Kumar, assured them they would be nabbed that they relented. While revealing the arrests, Mr Kumar said the case had been handed over to the Central Crime Branch (CCB). "Santosh's family and friends have a few demands, which will be conveyed to the Home Minister," he added.