In a move straight out of a thriller, Bande Manja, slain rowdy Bettanagere Seena’s associate and prime accused in the B.M.L. Krishnappa’s murder, surrendered before a court on Friday morning, hoodwinking the police who were looking to arrest him.
The Nelamangala police, on learning of his impending surrender before the court in connection with a different case, stationed many personnel at the First Additional Sessions Court to arrest him before he could make it to the court hall.
But, Manja had shaved off his moustache, and, sporting coolers and a lawyer’s gown, attached himself with a group of advocates walking into the court hall. Once there around 11 a.m., he surrendered and was remanded in judicial custody till October 4.
The 32-year-old resident of Yadal village, near Nelamangala, is named in 15 criminal cases, including three murders, one murder bid, two pertaining to possession of illegal arms, seven of extortion, and two robberies, besides being the prime accused in the sensational Krishnappa murder case. The police had deployed their teams on court premises in Tumkur, Bangalore, Nelamangala, Doddaballapur, Devanahalli and Anekal when they came to know that he might surrender before one of them.
On Friday, a team headed by Chickballapur police was on the magistrate court premises with the suspicion that their quarry might turn up in a burkha.
Manja surrendered in connection with an earlier case where he and Bettanegere Seena’s nephew Yadal Harsha allegedly shot at Krishnappa on August 24, 2009 at Mylanahalli, near Yadal, on the Doddaballapur-Nelamangala Road.
Superintendent of Police D. Prakash told The Hindu the police would file an application before the court to secure his custody.