Just as the new year 2013 dawned, while the city was still nursing a hangover from New Year celebrations, came the news of a software engineer found murdered outside a hotel here.

Nearly a year later, the police still don’t know who did it.

Karthik Vishnu R., a native of Tirupur near Coimbatore, had come to Bangalore to ring in the new year. Early on January 1, he was found unconscious and bleeding profusely on a pavement near South End Circle in Jayanagar. Karthik, then a 24 year old, was lying a few meters from La Marvella hotel, where he had been partying with six friends, hours earlier. He died of his injuries in hospital.

This much the police know: the group left the hotel around 1 a.m. — this was recorded by the hotel’s CCTV cameras. The security guard saw them waiting on the footpath for transport. Some friends had already left by then in an autorickshaw.

But soon after this, Karthik was found unconscious on the pavement and the police were called in.

Initial suspicion was that he had been inebriated and fell down, injuring himself. However, this was dismissed when the police found injuries on his stomach, face and thigh. The possibility of his injuries being caused by falling from a vehicle too were discounted, as doctors at St John’s Hospital, where he died, felt they were knife wounds. Investigators questioned the friends, but they were given a clean chit.

“Looking at the nature of wounds, we suspect that it was a vengeful murder due to rivalry,” an investigator from the Jayanagar police station had said. The investigation ran into a cul-de-sac after the police ruled out trouble in his love life, professional jealousy or property dispute.

DCP (South) H.S. Revanna is hopeful of closing the case. He maintains that they have definite clues to crack the mystery. A team was on the trail of the assailant, he said. “It’s just a matter of time before we zero in on him.”

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