The search for the missing Jain monk in Belagavi district ended on Saturday with the shocking revelation of his murder and recovery of his body parts from an open defunct borewell in a field at Katakabavi in Raibag taluk of the district.
As the situation is tense, Belagavi Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Patil and other senior officials are camping in Katakabavi and Hirekodi villages and additional police forces have been deployed there.
Speaking to presspersons on Saturday, Mr. Patil said that a person who was acquainted with the monk, Kamakumar Nandi Maharaj, and was living in the same ashram for the past few years had admitted to the killing and disposing of the body with the help of an aide. The monk had given money belonging to a charitable trust to the accused as assistance and had recently asked him to repay it, Mr. Patil said.
Missing since Thursday
The monk going missing from his ashram in Hirekodi village in Chikkodi taluk of Belagavi district came to light on Thursday morning.
Following a complaint by the president of the Jain Charitable Trust of Hirekodi, Bheemappa Ugare, on Friday, the police launched a search for him. Late in the night it came to light that the monk had been murdered and one of his acquaintances was involved in it.
As per the trustees of the ashram, the monk had insisted on the acquaintance returning the money at the earliest. In fact, after the monk went missing, the accused too had joined them in the search. After getting suspicious, the police interrogated him, leading to his confession.
After the accused admitted to disposing of the body in a borewell at Katakabavi village (located at a distance over 30 km from Hirekodi), the police began the search.
On Saturday, after a nearly 10-hour operation, the police recovered the body parts of the monk, which the accused had cut into pieces, put them in a bag and dumped in the defunct borewell. Earthmovers were used to dig around the defunct borewell and the operation took nearly 10 hours.
Jain seer launches fast-unto-death
Deeply perturbed by the ghastly murder of the monk in Belagavi district, Jain seer from Varur, near Hubballi, Gunadhar Nandi Maharaj has announced a fast-unto-death seeking a written assurance from the government on the safety of the Jain seers in the State.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Gunadhar Nandi Maharaj said that he was shocked by the ghastly act and also pained by the silence of the government and Chief Minister on the incident.
He demanded a thorough investigation by the police and announced that he would give up food and water till the government gave a written assurance on the safety of all monks.
He also demanded severe punishment to those involved in the crime.