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Akashbhavan Sharan among 7 held for murder

The Dakshina Kannada police have arrested seven more persons, including underworld operative Vikky Shetty’s supposed aide Akashbhavan Sharan, for their alleged involvement in the murder of financer-turned-actor Surendra Bhandary, 39, in Bantwal on October 20.

Apart from Akashbhavan Sharan ,who is in the Bengaluru central prison following the rape of a minor in Manipal, the police have arrested Pradeep Kumar, Sharief alias Syed Sharief, Venkappa Poojary, Divyaraj, Anil Pumpwell, and Rajesh.

The police have already arrested Satish Kulal and Girish, a close aide of realtor Kishan Hegde who was murdered in Udupi on September 24.

Personal differences and differences over financial dealings led to Bhandary’s murder, said a release by police.

Five special teams were formed to trace the accused.

According to the release, the questioning of Kulal and Girish led to the arrest of Pradeep Kumar, Sharief, and Venkappa Poojary. Pradeep and Venkappa had allegedly borrowed money from Bhandary and had differences with the latter over returning it.

Pradeep had allegedly paid ₹2 lakh to Sharan for murdering Bhandary. Similarly, Venkappa allegedly paid ₹90,000 to Satish and had reportedly promised more after the murder.

While the police questioned Sharan, he reportedly told the police that he had a personal rivalry with Bhandary and hence agreed to murder him.

Sharan allegedly involved Girish also in the crime by telling the latter that they were avenging Kishan Hegde’s murder.

Divyaraj, another aide of Kishan Hegde and an accused in the Ashraf Kalai murder case of 2017, and Anil Pumpwell were arrested for providing a vehicle to the arrested.

Rajesh was arrested for sheltering the accused. The police recovered ₹50,000, a van and mobile phones from the accused.

Sharan is accused in 20 criminal cases, including five murder cases, registered in Dakshina Kannada. Search was on for other persons allegedly involved in the murder, the release added.

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