A desperate attempt to fuel a lavish New Year's Eve party in Goa took a terrifying turn when a trio from Bengaluru kidnapped two men and committed one gruesome murder. Three youths Sanjay, Anand, and Hanumanth kidnapped Kishan Kumar, a carpenter, and Gurusiddappa, a businessman, and murdered the latter. The crimes came to light after the police conducted investigations into the kidnapping of Kishan.
The harrowing saga began on December 25 when Sanjay, Anand and Hanumanth from Bengaluru mistakenly abducted 24-year-old Kishan Kumar, a carpenter, under the belief that he was the owner of an interior design company. After realising their error, the trio engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with the actual owner Shivachandra Pandit. Having learned that Shivachandra was in Kundapura, the trio, along with Kishan, decided to go there. However, by this time, Shivachandra had started for Bengaluru.
In his police complaint, Kishan’s employer Shivachandra said, “On December 25, I got a call requesting for some work to be done at Bengaluru’s Palace Hotel. As I was in Kundapura, I sent Kishan instead.’’ However, upon arrival, Kishan was kidnapped by three individuals. The kidnappers demanded Rs 1 lakh from Kishan, but as he had no money, one of the men, Sanjay, attacked Kishan with a knife.
The initial ransom demand of Rs 1 lakh was whittled down to a desperate plea for Rs 10,000, but they failed to get anything as Kishan didn’t possess any money. The trio then decided to visit Kishan’s employer in Kundapura. During their journey, the three accused made a pit stop at a food joint, during which time Kishan managed to escape. He filed a complaint at Bengaluru’s Jnanabharati police station on January 2.
Undeterred by their first unsuccessful attempt, the kidnappers targeted Gurusiddappa, a businessman dealing with automobile spares in Peenya, on December 30. Gurusiddappa, a customer of the main accused Sanjay, a mechanic, was on friendly terms with him. They abducted him, made him call his wife from his phone, and asked her to give the money to Sanjay as a loan.
Gurusidappa’s unsuspecting wife gave the money in the early hours of December 31 to Sanjay. After receiving Rs 4 lakh, they took Gurusiddappa to Ramanagara’s Thimmappana Betta. Fearing that Gurusiddappa would go to the police, the trio stabbed him to death and left his body there.
During the investigation in Kishan's case, the police stumbled upon the disappearance of Gurusiddappa. Deputy Commissioner of Police Bengaluru West S Girish said that Gurisiddappa’s wife had filed a missing complaint on December 30. “The phone number used in both cases was the same, linking the crimes to a common group of kidnappers,” he said.
Upon further investigation, the police arrested the trio in Bengaluru on January 9. After interrogation, the accused told where Gurusiddappa’s body was. “We couldn’t find the body at that place but we found his spectacles, watch, clothes, and blood stains. It's a forest area so we searched around and found remnants of the body about half a kilometre away. The body had been ravaged by dogs and leopards,” the DCP said.
The accused – Sanjay, a mechanic in Vishveswaraya Layout, Anand, a delivery person, and Hanumanth, an unemployed youth from Raichur – were driven by a desire to party in Goa on New Year's Eve. They resorted to the abductions and heinous crime to fund their celebration. They spent the money in Goa before being apprehended upon their return to Bengaluru.
The police said that they recovered Rs 2.4 lakh in cash, a gold chain, and mobile phones used in the crimes. “There were four people involved in the case and one is at large. The investigation is ongoing,” the police said.