The Dakshina Kannada police have arrested seven persons for allegedly conspiring to eliminate two local businessmen.

Commissioner of Police Gopal B. Hosur told presspersons here on Tuesday that the police had recovered two cars, two motorcycles, two firearms and 29 bullets from the accused, in addition to Rs. 52,000 in cash.

Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao said that the police kept watch on a house in Bendorewell for three days based on information that associates of underworld don Ravi Poojary planned to eliminate a city-based businessman from whom they had sought to extort Rs. 5 crore. The gang-members were arrested when they arrived at the house on Monday.

The gang revealed that they had planned to eliminate one more businessmen in the city, he said.

Mr. Hosur said police would crack down on those helping underworld dons operating from abroad, particularly West Asia. He asked such youths to return to the mainstream or face police action. He warned private banks against hiring anti-social elements as “seizure agents”, without checking their antecedents with the police. He said such banks would be served notices. One of the accused, Prashanth Shetty, who was facing a criminal charge, had been hired by three top banks in the city, he said.

He gave the names of the arrested as Prashanth Shetty (32) and Satish Shetty (36), both from Amblalpady in Udupi; Sudhir Pujary (22), Yatish Pujary (22), Praveen Carlo (29) and Amrut Karkera (24), all from Vamanjoor; and Suhail Ahmed (26) from Maripalla. He said Dinesh Amin, accused in another case and languishing in Mysore jail, too was involved. An employee of the jail, Mahadevaiah, who passed the information to Amin, had also been arrested.

He announced a cash award of Rs. 50,000 to the team of officers who foiled the conspiracy.

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