Murder of CEO and MD in Bengaluru: Police arrest three men, including ex-employee, in six hours

Police are on the lookout for fourth accused Arun Kumar. Meanwhile, social media is flooded with communally-coloured misinformation about the case.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Jul 12, 2023 | 1:52 PM Updated Jul 12, 2023 | 1:53 PM

Karnataka Double Murder Bengaluru

The Bengaluru police have arrested three men for allegedly murdered the CEO and MD of Aeronics Media Pvt Ltd at the firm’s Amruthahalli office on Tuesday, 11 July.

The men, identified as the prime accused Shabarish alias Felix, 27, Vinay Reddy, 23, and Santhosh alias Santhu, 26, were arrested from Kunigal town in Tumakuru, within six hours of committing the crime. The police were still searching for a fourth man, Arun Kumar.

“We arrested the three accused persons near Kunigal town around 11 pm within six hours of the crime on Tuesday,” Bengaluru North-East DCP Laxmi Prasad told South First on Wednesday, 12 July.

The accused, armed with knives and machetes, allegedly barged into the office around 4.30 pm on Tuesday and attacked the MD, Phanindra Subramanyam, 36. The firm’s CEO, Vinu Kumar, 40, rushed in on hearing the commotion and was also attacked with sharp weapons.

The men threatened other employees, who shifted the injured to a hospital after the gang had left. “After they fled the scene, the employees rushed the injured to the hospital where the victims succumbed to their injuries,” the police said.

“The main accused, Felix, and the second accused Santosh used to work with G-Net Technologies Pvt Ltd owned by accused Arun Kumar. At present, Santosh is employed at a car water service centre,” DCP Prasad said. Felix was a former employee of Aeronics, an Internet Service Provider.

The officer did not reveal the motive. However, business rivalry is being suspected as the motive behind the gruesome crime.

Related: Ex-employee hacks to death CEO and MD of internet service provider

Bid to add communal colour

Soon after the incident, pro-Hindu organisations gave a communal tinge, circulating messages on social media platforms.

“One more Hindu leader brutally murdered in Bengaluru,” Hindu Janajagruti Samiti spokesperson Mohan Gowda tweeted:

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar termed the murder a “direct fallout of the Congress’s appeasement politics”.

This is true everywhere Congress and allies like TMC is in government — criminals attacking Hindus are given a free pass by Congress leaders,” he added.

Another person Arun Pudur tweeted: “Mohabbat Ki Dukaan in Karnataka (shops of love). Another Hindu leader Phanindra hacked to death in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Are dharmic gurus being eliminated in a systematic manner?”

“The Congress opened their dukaan (shop) a month ago and Hindu dead bodies have been piling up since then,” he added.

Subramanyam mentioned in biodata that he was a Hindu activist, who had worked for the Hindu nationalist cause.

DCP Prasad denied that Subramanyam was part of any outfit. “Phanindra Subramanyam is not known to be a member of any outfit,” he said.

Incidentally, pro-Hindutva outfits have been trying to whip up communal frenzy ever since the BJP lost the Assembly elections in May. Similar attempts were made in two other instances.

The murder of a Jain monk in Belagavi over an alleged financial dealing, and the killing of a ‘Yuva Brigade’ member in T Narasipura in clashes between two Hindu groups, were also given a religious colour by peddling communally sensitive and inciteful claims on social media.