The Mangalore South police arrested four persons in connection with the murder of Prashanth, manager of a transport agency, in Valencia on the night of April 7.
Police Commissioner Manish Kharbikar identified the accused as Bhavani Shankar (32) from Jeppina Mogaru, Bhavish (24) from Kasaragod, Praveen K.P (24) from Kalladka, and Naveen Shetty (32) from Kavoor. Mr. Kharbikar told reporters on Friday that the murder was in retaliation to the murder of Bejai Raja in Falnir on the night of November 30, 2012.
Mr Kharbikar said deceased Prashanth had no criminal antecedents. He was targeted because of his alleged association with his brother-in-law, who reportedly had links with persons involved in the murder of Bejai Raja.
Mr. Kharbikar said investigation was on to find the alleged links of underworld operative Vikky Shetty in the murder of Praveen. Person claiming to be Vikky Shetty had called a few news channels on April 7 owning up the murder of Praveen.
Mr. Kharbikar said Praveen’s murder could not be equated to a gang war and was not a matter of concern. The Central Crime Branch, a special branch, had not failed in keeping track of the activities of persons associated with criminal acts.
The prime accused Bhavani Shankar, Mr. Kharbikar said, had been involved in four cases of murder. Mr. Kharbikar said Bhavani Shankar and three others were caught while they were returning from Kasaragod on Friday morning in a multi-utility vehicle that had also been used by the accused on April 7. Mr. Kharbikar did not comment when asked as to whether the accused had surrendered before the police on Friday.
Bhavani Shankar was among 450 persons booked under Section 110 of Criminal Procedure Code for preventive custody in the light of Assembly elections. Mr. Kharbikar said a decision on keeping these persons under preventive custody would be taken by tahsildar.