Staff Reporter

It is said that the convict had links with militants and underworld dons

  • City court passes the conviction order in the sensational Hotel Ashok murder case of 2001
  • Police got the clues after getting a photograph from Chennai police

    BANGALORE: It was another feather in the cap for Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Gopal B. Hosur when a city court on Monday convicted a former management consultant and his two accomplices in the sensational Hotel Ashok murder case of 2001.

    The murder of travel agency executive K.R.A.P. Acharya (50), who was lured, drugged and strangled at Hotel Ashok in May 2001, could not have come at a worse time for Bangalore's police,w hich had got bad press for the spurt in murders at the time.

    Moreover, investigations into most of them had reached a dead end.

    In the absence of definite clues, nabbing Acharya's killers was a big challenge for the police.

    It was the efforts by Mr. Hosur, then the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central), which led to the arrest of Aparijit Biswanath Basak, a former management consultant from Pune, and two others.

    During the investigation, Mr. Hosur's team learnt of a gang involved in a cheating incident at Hotel Park Sheraton in Chennai and suspected that the same gang could have murdered Acharya.

    Mr. Hosur got in touch with Chennai's then Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police Muragavelu and obtained the pictures of the three suspects taken by a close circuit camera at the upmarket hotel.

    Both the Chennai cheating case victim as well as Acharya's friend Narasimhan, who survived the murder attempt at Hotel Ashok, identified a person in the photograph. Following this lead, the police traced Basak and arrested him.

    Crucial breakthrough

    Basak's arrest assumed significance as he was allegedly planning to kidnap a high profile liquor baron from Bangalore for a ransom of Rs. 15 crore.

    Basak had reportedly plotted the kidnap with Uttar Pradesh don Babloo Srivatsa while the two were in Tihar jail.

    Basak, an engineering graduate trained in Germany, allegedly had contacts with not only underworld gangs and drug mafia but also with militants.

    While in Tihar Jail he had close contacts with militants belonging to the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Commando Force, Bindranwale Tiger Force and Khalistan Liberation Front, the police sources said.

    He was friendly with killer Charles Shobraj, who was also lodged in Tihar jail at that time.