Editor of Bengaluru-based tabloid, Hi Bangalore, Ravi Belagere, was granted interim bail by the 1st Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Ravi Belagere was arrested on December 8 for allegedly hiring hitmen to kill his colleague Sunil Heggaravahalli, as he suspected the latter of having an illicit relationship with his wife Yashomathy.
On Monday, the court had denied bail for Belagere and remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days. He was sent to the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison until December 23.
However, a day after Belagere was lodged in jail, he was transferred to the prison infirmary. His lawyer, Diwakar, applied for interim bail on health grounds on Wednesday, which was accepted by the court.
Belagereâ€™s arrest came after two men, Tahir Hussain and Shashidhar Ramachadra Mundewadi, were picked up by the police in an arms case.
During interrogation, the two men reportedly incriminated Belagere, with Shashidar telling the police that he and another man named Viju Badiger had been contracted by the editor to kill Sunil.
The CCB has launched a manhunt for Viju, after an attempt to nab him from his Vijaypura residence failed on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Sunil filed a fresh complaint at the Subramanyapura Police Station on December 10, alleging that Belagere had called and threatened him while in police custody. In his complaint, Sunil alleged that Belagere called him on the morning of December 10 from a phone belonging to a common friend named Madhu.
â€śWhen I answered the call, someone said: Wait a minute, Ravi anna will talk. Then Ravi Belagere spoke in an intimidating tone and asked me if I had told the media about having a relationship with Yashomathy (Raviâ€™s wife). I told him that I did not, and that I did not have any relationship with her,â€ť Sunilâ€™s complaint reads.
According to sources in the CCB, Ravi is cooperating with his interrogators, but refuses to answer the question of why he had allegedly hired hitmen to kill Sunil.
â€śHe has answered most of the questions, but is not opening his mouth when we ask him why he gave the supari. His silence suggests that he has done something. However, we will continue questioning him till we get a satisfactory answer,â€ť an official said.
Besides Belagere, Lokesh Koppad, another reporter of Hi Bangalore, is also being questioned by CCB sleuths.
â€śBased on call records, Lokesh Koppad had made phone calls to sharp shooter Shashidhar. Ravi Belagere used to call him from Lokeshâ€™s phone. Koppad was also present when Belagere handed over the revolver and bullets, along with a knife to kill Sunil,â€ť a senior police officer said.