After a night-long chase, Hyderabad police on Saturday nabbed four persons, who hacked young trader Neeraj Panwar to death at Begum Bazaar on Friday evening. Police later on Saturday declared that it was an inter-caste marriage of the victim which led to his murder.
Four of the accused — identified as 18-year-old B. Rohit Yadav, 22-year-old K. Vijay Yadav, 25-year-old K. Sanjay Yadav and a minor boy — were picked up near Gurumitkal In Yadgir district of Karnataka.
On Friday evening, these four, along with Abhinandan Yadav and Mahesh Yadav, killed Neeraj for marrying Sanjana against the wishes of her family members. Abhinandan, Sanjay and Vijay, are Sanjana’s cousins.
Soon after the attack, the accused, according to a plan, went to Pargi in Vikarabad district on their two-wheelers, and, after abandoning the vehicles there, they boarded bus, sought lift and reached an isolated place near Gurumitkal. “They took shelter for a few hours before getting nabbed by our team,” a senior officer associated with the investigation of the case told The Hindu.
However, police managed to nab only Rohit, Vijay, Sanjay, and the minor boy, while Abhinandan, Mahesh and another minor boy are at large.
“At least 10 persons planned the attack, while six were on the ground, others were guiding them,” the officer said. Of the six, one person belongs to another community, and he was their friend. “I guess he was not aware of the full plan. After seeing them attacking Neeraj, he panicked and started to run here and there. It is clearly visible in the CCTV camera footage,” the officer added.
The arrested were being interrogated at Mangalhat police station on the planning and who all were involved, where and when they purchased the weapons, and how long they were tracking Neeraj, a resident of Kolsawadi whose family runs a wholesale groundnut business at Feelkhana.
Announcing the arrests on Saturday evening, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) D. Joel Davis said: “since their marriage, the couple had been staying in a rented house at Shamsheergunj to avoid conflict with her family members, who also live in Kolsawadi.”
Recently, Neeraj started going to the shop to help his father, and his frequent movements in the area had provoked the family members of Sanjana, he said. “As Sanjana got married to Neeraj against their wishes, the family felt humiliated. And moreover they got provoked by Neeraj’s presence in the area. So, they hatched a conspiracy to eliminate him,” he said.
When asked how and when the accused hatched the conspiracy, Mr. Davis said that about 15 days ago, the accused consumed alcohol and decided to kill Neeraj. “For the last three days they had been actively pursuing Neeraj. They conducted a recce of the area and on Friday evening Sanjay followed Neeraj, and alerted others,” he said. The victim was travelling on a bike with his grandfather Jagadish Prasad Panwar as pillion.
When they reached Feelkhana, the accused intercepted them, and Sanjay attacked them with a boulder. Later they hacked Neeraj to death with sickles, which had been purchased in Jumerat Bazar, the DCP said.
The officer said that seven teams were formed to identify and nab the attackers. “We are still on the job to nab the absconding persons.”
Earlier, Mr. Joel Davis said, family members of Sanjana had been counselled by the Afzal Gunj police after their marriage in April last. The couple has a three-month-old boy.