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Fight over ₹6 lakh caused the ghastly murder of Jain seer in Karnataka

PoliticsFight over ₹6 lakh caused the ghastly murder of Jain seer in Karnataka

Fight over ₹6 lakh caused the ghastly murder of a Jain seer Kamkumar Nandi Maharaj in Karnataka says police.

According to reports, Narayana Basappa Mali and Hassan Dalayath, the accused individuals, allegedly dismembered the body and disposed of the parts in an abandoned borewell. They purportedly believed that this method of disposal would help them avoid detection or capture.

The horrific murder occurred in Karnataka’s Belagavi district where the Jain seer was killed over a financial dispute, according to the police. Two men, identified as building contractor Narayana Basappa Mali and his associate Hassan Dalayath, have been arrested in connection with the crime.

Allegedly, they brutally killed the religious leader, dismembered his body into multiple pieces, and disposed of them in an abandoned borewell. It is reported that the accused believed that this method of disposal would help them evade capture and avoid being held accountable for their actions.

On Thursday, July 6, the Chikkodi police commenced an investigation following a complaint filed by Basadi Bheemappa Ugare, the manager of the Hirekodi Jain Ashram. The complaint stated that the head seer, Acharya Kamakumara Nandi Maharaj (58) of the Nandi Parvat Jain Ashram, had gone missing since the previous night.

What Happened:

In response to Nandi Maharaj’s disappearance, the Ashram’s trustee members and devotees initiated a search and inquired about the seer’s whereabouts. They were informed that Nandi Maharaj was last seen in the company of Mali and Dalayath, both in their 30s.

The police conducted interrogations with both Mali and Dalayath, both together and separately. Inconsistencies in their statements raised suspicions, leading the police to discover the mortal remains of the seer. Subsequently, the men were arrested.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, investigators revealed that the seer had been involved in an illicit money-lending enterprise that charged exorbitant interest rates.

The motive behind the gruesome murder of Nandi Maharaj, the Jain seer, appears to be linked to a financial dispute, according to the police. Mali had received a sum of ₹6 lakh from the seer for the purchase of building materials for a school construction project. However, Mali failed to provide the materials as promised, leading the seer to demand the money back.

Angered by the seer’s demand, Mali decided to eliminate him. He enlisted the help of Dalayath, a tipper-lorry driver who also worked for Mali, to dispose of the body. Mali believed that their carefully planned crime would allow them to escape arrest, as they believed there would be no evidence left behind.

Following the murder, they dismembered the body to fit it into a 30-foot borewell located on Mali’s farm in Katakabhavi Village, approximately 30 km from the Ashram. They also covered the well with soil to mask any odor.

However, their hopes of going undetected were shattered when the police cracked the case within four hours.

Mali resided in Katakabhavi village, Raibagh taluk, while Dalayath lived in Chikkodi town. Nandi Maharaj had been residing in the Ashram for the past 15 years.

Belagavi Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjeev Patil confirmed the arrest of the two suspects and stated that the motive appeared to be related to financial matters. Mali had borrowed ₹6 lakh from the seer but failed to return the amount over time. When the seer pressured him to repay the money promptly, Mali decided to murder him. It was a premeditated act, according to SP Patil.

During the investigation, Mali’s interrogation revealed that the seer had been demanding an interest rate that Mali could not afford. This led him to conspire to eliminate the seer, according to anonymous sources familiar with the investigation.

A relative of the seer mentioned that he was subjected to electric shock before his body was dismembered by the accused.

Although the police swiftly solved the murder case, it took more than 10 hours to recover the seer’s body parts. SP Patil and a team of officers camped at Katakabhavi, digging up a portion of land near the borewell to retrieve the body parts.

The body parts, found at a depth of 30 feet and covered with soil, were sent for a post-mortem examination at a government hospital in Chikkodi. Subsequently, the mortal remains were handed over to the Ashram. The seer’s last rites were performed according to Jain traditions in Hirekodi village, Chikkodi taluk, on Sunday.

Members of Jain organizations staged a protest to condemn the murder of Sri Acharya Kamakumara Nandi, Jain monk of the Hirekodi Ashram

Apparently, the Jain community is now satisfied with the State Govt’s inquiry. They have not pressed for any other agency to be looking into this investigation,” says Karnataka Minister. Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said that the state police was investigating the case impartially and there was no need to hand over the probe to the CBI.  The BJP has been demanding a CBI probe.

Renowned journalist and anchor Rajdeep Sardesai said, “Arrests made in Jain muni murder case in Karnataka and prelim inquiry clearly shows that it had nothing to do with religion but was a horrific crime linked to a financial dispute over money lent. To communalize it, as some groups have done, is dangerous and shameful. How long will netas and a section of the media too play with religious sentiments? Think.

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