The Inside Story
The Jayanagar police cracked the murder case of Shankar Pujari, 55, who was the chief manager with the regional office of Oriental Bank of Commerce on M G Road. The murder was reported at Pujari’s residence near Yediyur on September 25. Police sources said that the two accused in the murder, worked at Shanthi Upahara hotel near Pujari’s residence.

Pujari daily visited the hotel for breakfast and dinner, as his wife and daughter stayed in Mumbai.
“Based on several leads, the duo was taken into custody on Tuesday. Natives of Mysore and Mandya, the duo had gone missing from the day the murder was reported. The duo were known to the victim and it was confirmed on the day the murder came to light, that acquaintances of the victim were behind the murder, as there was no forcible entry into the house. Also, other circumstantial evidences prove their involvement in the murder. Hence, the duo were arrested,” sources said.

It is said that one of them was a cook, while the other prepared ‘rotis’ in the hotel. The police are thoroughly questioning them and have not ruled out the chances of involvement of a few others in the murder plot.

Though the exact reason for the murder is yet to be ascertained, the police have strongly suspected that it could be a case of murder for monetary gain.

It may be recalled that Pujari was gagged and smothered to death at his residence in Yediyur on September 25 earlier this year.

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Wrong track delayed murder probe

Investigation into the murder of Oriental Bank manager Shankar Poojari has revealed that his killers did not intend to kill him. The two eatery employees killed him to avoid being reported to the police when Poojari recognised one of them after yanking off one of their monkey cap when they were trying to rob him at his home in Yediyur.

The incident took place on September 25, 2011. The two attackers—Jayakumar alias Anil, 24, and KM Yogesh, 21—who worked as cooks in New Shanti Sagar Hotel near Poojari’s residence in Yediyur—were arrested on December 30, after an initial probe unsuccessfully pursued Poojari’s alleged illicit relation with a woman as the cause of his murder. The wrong line of investigation was taken after a preliminary inspection at the murder spot revealed a condom packet in the deceased’s pocket, an investigating officer told DNA.

However, a sustained suspicion by one of the investigating officers that this murder could be the outcome of a failed attempt of robbery brought the probe back on the right track to finally yield the required results.

The revised investigations revealed that Poojari, a native of Kundapura, used to frequent New Shanti Sagar Hotel in Yediyur, on Kanakapura Road, and had befriended many employees at the eatery.

A thorough probe also revealed that two of the hotel cooks were absent from work on the day of Poojari’s killing and the day after. But they had resumed duty to avoid raising suspicions among the investigators over their prolonged absence from work just after Poojari’s murder.

Jayakumar and Yogesh were then taken into custody and questioned, which revealed that they had killed Poojari only after he had removed the monkey cap of one of them and had recognised him when they were attempting to rob him. The two had hidden themselves on the terrace of the building Poojari used to live in, waiting for him to return from dinner.

Upon his arrival, when Poojari opened the door to his apartment to enter, the duo pounced on him and took him inside his apartment, closing the door behind him.

In the ensuing scuffle between Poojari and his attackers, the former managed to pull away one of their monkey caps, which they wore to prevent him from recognising them.

Once exposed, they strangulated him after stabbing him in the abdomen. A deep mark caused by a sharp instrument—the knife carried by the attackers—on the side of Poojari’s throat indicated that the two had held him at knife-point for a long time, and could have killed him earlier had they intended to do so, the police said.

The accused also revealed that they befriended Poojari when he used to visit them and even watch television with the hotel employees.

The attackers could only get a gold chain and Rs3,500 in cash from Poojari’s house.

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