Mangaluru: Police commissioner S Murugan held a press meet in connection with the murder case of Prashant Poojary of Moodbidri, at his office here, on October 18.
Addressing the mediapersons, Murugan said that on October 9, a flower vendor Prashant Poojary was murdered near Samaja Mandir Moodbidri and the Mangaluru police have succeeded in arresting four people in this case.
The arrested have been identified as Mohammed Hanif (36), Mohammed Iyas (27), Ibrahim Liyakat (26) and Abdul Rasheed (29). During the investigations, the accused have revealed the reason behind the murder. The arrested have also been previously involved in crimes in Handel and Permude.
The investigation officers have collected all the information about those involved in the crime. All the police officers have done a wonderful job in arresting the accused, said Murugan.
According to the investigation so far, six people were involved in the execution of the crime, the main accused being Mohammed Hanif who is the only one arrested among the six. “However, we have yet to identify the other 5 persons. Prashant Poojary was an active Hindu activist. In Moodbidri, many untoward incidents have taken place and the murder may be a revenge act.” The three other aforementioned individuals have been identified as co-conspirators.
Murugan dispelled rumors circulating in the social and regular media about leaders being involved and said that they are baseless. When asked if he would take action under the cyber act in this regard, Murugan replied that he would if any case would be registered. “So far, we have not received any complaints.”
When asked why it took so long to arrest one person, Murugan said that the accused could not be identified right after the crime took place. “It takes time to solve a case and we have traced the accused within 9 days of the murder.”
When asked about the suicide of eye-witness Vaman Poojary, he replied that the police had not recorded his statement. “We only heard about it on the day of the murder. No police officer or anyone from the department visited his residence because he was visibly depressed after the murder and so we did not pursue any further. We also checked the list of people who had made calls to Vaman Poojary and the fact is that he did not receive any international calls as is being alleged. We have found that the death was not because of the pressure of the police, nor did he receive any threats from any overseas persons as alleged by some people.”
“Vaman was very much in depression after the murder of Prashant. Even Vaman’s family members also said that after Prashant’s murder Vaman was disturbed and he did not communicate with anyone. He was in shock. The rumours which are being spread that Vaman received international threat calls is not true.”
In regard to the threat calls being received by members of Hindu organisations, Murugan said that three separate cases have been filed by Jagadish Adhikari, Sharan Pumpwell and Somnath Kotian and investigation is under process.
Murugan further said that this case should not be seen as one community attacking another. “This is not an attack of one community on another. Some misguided youth with revenge in their minds for some perceived wrong have murdered Prashant. This is an isolated case of murder and should be treated as such. The same gang was involved three other attacks in Moodbidri area. We should not give much attention to the rumours. The case will be investigated and those involved in the crime will be arrested and punished.”