62-year-old film producer Ramesh Kumar Jain's body was found in a storm water drain near the Kengeri Railway Station in Bengaluru on November 29. On Friday, the Kengeri Police arrested seven people in connection with the crime. Police say that Ramesh had produced a few Sandalwood films and also owned a plastic factory at Mylasandra.
Police say that the seven accused persons were tenants of a building owned by Ramesh and that he was murdered when he demanded the outstanding rent.
The accused have been identified as Nazeer, his wife Shabeena Taj, daughter Heena, Islam Khan, Abdul Hashim, Syed Ahmed, and Mohammad Zuber.
"According to the autopsy, Ramesh died of asphyxiation. He was strangled to death and his body was dumped in the storm water drain on November 27. We found the body two days later," the police said.
Police claim that Nazeer had rented the house in Deepanjali Nagar, which was owned by Ramesh. "He has confessed to killing Ramesh with the help of the others," the police added.
A missing persons complaint was filed by Ramesh's son Rakesk on the night of November 27 at the Vijayanagar Police Station. In his complaint, Rakesh has alleged that his father left home on the morning of November 27 and had informed the family that he was heading towards Deepanjali Nagar to collect the rent from his tenants, who had not reportedly not paid it.
"My father did not return home and it was late into the night. We were worried as his phone was switched off. I called Nazeer to inquire about my father. Nazeer told me that my father had informed him that he was coming but did not turn up," Rakesh's complaint states.
Rakesh then approached the Vijayanagar Police and lodged a missing persons complaint. At around 8 pm on November 29, a body was found in a storm drain at the Kengeri Railway Station. The station officials informed the police and based on the driver's licence found in the drain, the police were able to identify him as Ramesh.
"We had brought in Nazeer for questioning as Ramesh had told his family that he was going to collect rent. He confessed to his involvement in the murder and also named the other accused," the police claimed.
Nazeer, who runs a furniture shop in Deepanjali Nagar, has been friends with Ramesh for 25 years. He had rented the house from Ramesh 10 years ago.
"Over the past few months, Ramesh and Nazeer had many fights as Nazeer would not pay rent on time. This time, Ramesh confronted him and warned him that he would have Nazeer evicted if he did not pay the rent on time. Nazeer claims that he felt betrayed by his friend and when the argument got heated, he and his family ended up strangling Ramesh. The other accused, who are his associates are believed to have helped him dump the body," the police added.