It was a brutal murder committed by his own friend. An Income Tax officer’s 19-year-old son, Sharat, was kidnapped on September 12 in Bengaluru and his body was found on Friday morning.
According to a senior official with the Central Crime Branch, the police suspected that Sharat’s family or friends were behind the abduction as there was no evidence of him being taken away forcibly.
“If you watch the second video, he looks at someone beyond the camera and asks if what he said was fine. That level of familiarity is usually among family or friends,” the senior police official says.
After Sharat’s father filed an abduction complaint with the Gnanabharati Police, Sharat’s family, friends, neighbours, classmates and relatives were questioned by the police.
“We did not know who it was but were sure that it was someone close to him. We asked his father if any one of Sharat’s friends was showing extreme concern all of a sudden and we found that Vishal had been visiting the family almost every day. The boy’s father told me that Vishal had told him to give the money multiple times and save Sharat,” the senior officer added.
Vishal also constantly kept in touch with Sharat’s sister in order to stay updated with what the family knew of the police investigation.
“We became suspicious of Vishal and began keeping an eye on him. We tracked his movement through his cell phone GPS and also began looking though his call records. We found that both Sharat and Vishal’s mobile phones were located at the same place on the night of the abduction. We also found that Vishal’s friends Vicky and Vinay had frequented the Ramohalli and Ajjanakatte lakes,” the officer added.
Vishal and his associates were grilled by the Gnanabharati Police on Thursday night and they confessed their involvement in the abduction and murder.
Soon after Sharat’s death, local TV channels had reported that Sharat and his sister were involved in the abduction plan in order to make money.
The CCB officer, however, denied these allegations. The senior officer also said that none of the accused in the case i.e. Vishal, Vinay and Vicky, had any criminal past.
A police team took the accused to the Ajjanakatte lake, 40km from Bengaluru, where they showed the place where Sharath was buried. A search operation began and Sharat’s body was found buried near an abandoned quarry 3km away from the lake.
Since his body was decomposed, the autopsy was performed near the Ajjanakatte Lake.
A pandal was erected near the quarry for the autopsy.
Sharath and his abductors -Vinay Prasad alias Vicky, Karan Pai, Vinod Kumar V and Uber driver Shanta Kumar were all inside the Maruti Swift used for the abduction.
Around 11.30pm, Vishal, the mastermind behind the abduction, called one of his friends and told them that Sharat’s father had filed a complaint with the police.
He then directed his friends to kill Sharat. The four others had a knife and a rope with them. They initially mulled over stabbing him but ended up strangling Sharat.
“They said it was easier to strangle than stab him to death. They put Sharat in the back seat of the Swift car and drove to Ramohalli Lake. Vicky was driving, while Karan sat next to him. The other two were in the back with Sharath’s body on the floor,” the officer said.
Around 1am, they reached Ramohalli Lake. They decided to dump the body in the lake. But they soon realised that it was a mistake as the body would float up. They then buried him near the Ajjanakatte Lake.