A gang of four persons attacked the residence of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Councillor S. Keshavamurthy in Mahalakshmi Layout here on Saturday night following which the police arrested one of the gang members identified as Kumar alias Bhagyanath (45).
The attackers, who tried breaking into the house, smashed the window panes and broke the grills. The landlord of the house, who intervened, was assaulted by the assailants. He was taken to a hospital.
Mr. Keshavamurthy was not home when the four men came looking for him.
Speaking to The Hindu, his wife, Chethana Keshavamurthy, said: “I was alone at the house when two men came around 10.30 p.m. and knocked on the door. When I opened the door and asked them who it was, one of them said that his name was Bhagyanath. They appeared to be in an inebriated state.”
However, when they realised that the councillor was not at home, they went away. Mrs. Keshavamurthy said that around 11.30 p.m., there were loud knocks on her door again. As she was apprehensive, she did not open the door, but the men tried to break the lock to enter the house.
“They broke the window panes of the kitchen and broke the grill outside the house. When the landlord Kempanna, who lives upstairs, intervened, the gang assaulted him with flower pots and footwear kept outside the house,” she said. The attackers also carried a knife with them, she added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Keshavamurthy, who had gone out for dinner, said that he received a call from his wife informing him of the chaos following which he alerted the police. The gang members, however, escaped from the spot in an autorickshaw.
Mr. Keshavamurthy also said that another gang member, who had introduced himself as Kaveri, had threatened the family by claiming that he was earlier involved in the murder of Malleswaram Councillor Nataraj.
The police said that the accused Bhagyanath had taken a loan from a private bank for construction of a three-storey building in Mahalakshmi Layout nearly six years ago.
Bhagyanath, however, had not repaid the loan and had been requesting the councillor, who is also the president of the bank, to reduce the interest on the loan. However, the bank issued a notice to Bhagyanath. Though there is a suspicion that this might be the reason behind the attack, the police are yet to ascertain it.
Mr. Keshavamurthy, however, said that the bank loan may not be connected to the attack at all. “It may be because of political vendetta due to the elections. Without some political backing, the attackers may not have had the courage to launch an attack on a councillor,” he said.
Mrs. Keshavamurthy also said that the gang members were heard talking about the Mahalakshmipuram councillor not supporting “Babanna” and “Ravianna” referring to the local MLA N.L. Narendra Babu and his younger brother Ravi.
Though the councillor said that he had no issues with the MLA, he suspected that some of his supporters may have been involved in the attack.
Meanwhile, Mr. Narendra Babu has said that the accused, who was arrested, was not his supporter and that he had no involvement in the issue. The Mahalakshmi Layout police have registered a case.