A 27-year-old under-trial facing murder charges and out on bail was hacked to death by a gang of four persons in Surathkal on Tuesday.

The men attacked Prakash in a Udupi-bound bus and hit him again after dragging him out of the bus at the National Institute of Technology-Karnataka bus stop in Surathkal. He was found dead shortly after.

Prakash was going to Manipal in the bus after attending court in the city. Prakash was among the two persons arrested by the Panambur police in connection with the murder of Shivaraj, a Hindu Jagaran Vedike activist, in Thokur on July 20, 2012. On Tuesday, Prakash attended the trial of the case that commenced at the Fourth Additional District and Sessions Court. Since his release on bail, Prakash had been working in Mahboobnagar in Andhra Pradesh.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) K.V. Jagadish said after finishing court proceedings Prakash boarded at 2.30 p.m. city bus to Udupi from where he was to catch a bus to Mahboobnagar. Mr. Jagadish said two persons with arms got into the bus a few metres before it reached the NITK bus stop.

As it reached the bus stop, two more persons got into it. They hit Prakash on this head, neck and chest with sharp weapons in the bus. Then they threw him out of the bus and they all went away in a car. “This looks purely like an attack to avenge the murder of Shivaraj. Search is on to find the accused,” Mr. Jagadish said.

‘Revenge killing’

Shocked driver and conductor of the bus were at loss of words about the incident. “I was shocked … I just could not turn to see the way they attacked (Prakash). My legs were shaking as I drove,” said a disturbed driver. The conductor said he could not do much to prevent the attack. Following the attack, the conductor called the Manipal Police, who in turn called the city police about the murder.

The murder at the bus stop off the busy NH 66 highway between Mangalore and Udupi shocked people of the area. “We saw attackers hitting the person. We were helpless,” said a wayside panipuri seller. There were only a few persons at the bus stop, and they fled seeing the attack, he said.

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