Karnataka editor held for ‘hiring’ gunmen to kill ex-employee

Bengaluru: Police on Friday arrested the editor of Kannada tabloid “Hai Bangalore” Ravi Belagere for allegedly hiring a gunman to kill a former employee, the Karnataka Home Minister said.

“When the Crime Branch interrogated a gun runner (Tahir Hussain) who was picked up four days ago, he mentioned Shashidhar Mundewadi, another sharpshooter who takes ‘supari’ (contract) for such crimes,” R. Ramalinga Reddy told reporters here.

Hussain, who has a long criminal record, was held on Monday under the Arms Act for illegal possession of arms. Mundewadi was arrested on Thursday from Vijayapura district in Karnataka.

“During interrogation, the two admitted they took ‘supari’ from Belagere to kill his former colleague Sunil Heggaravalli three months ago. Based on their testimony, he (Belagere) was arrested,” Reddy said.

Heggaravalli, whom the killers couldn’t manage to shoot, earlier worked with Belagere in the same tabloid.

Belagere had reportedly given Mundewadi a gun with four bullets and a long knife to “eliminate” his former colleague whom he called a “betrayer”.

“The police have so far found one revolver gun with 53 live bullets and a used bullet, a double barrel gun with 41 live bullets along with deer and tortoise skins,” Reddy said.