Bengaluru: At a time when the NIA is all set to take a decisive action in the Praveen Kumar Nettaru murder case, sources said on Thursday that the accused may have taken shelter in Arab countries.
The NIA Special court has granted permission for seizure of residences and properties of the prime accused persons, Umar Farooq and Mustafa Paichar, both residents of Kallumutlu if they fail to surrender before June 30.
Abubaquar Siddique and Tuffail M.H., are also the prime accused. NIA has been trying to arrest them in connection with the murder. The agency had declared Rs 14 lakh reward for clues on these accused persons. The NIA had declared Rs 5 lakh bounty each on clues about Tuffail and Mohammad Mustafa. Umar Farooq and Abubaquar Siddiqui have Rs 2 lakh bounty on them.
Sources said that Tuffail was involved in communal violence that took place in Kodagu and was part of the assault team of Popular Front of India (PFI). The accused have settled in Arab nations after the case was handed over to the NIA.
They had escaped through Nepal with the help of members of terrorist organisations and sympathisers.
The NIA teams had gone to Nepal for the arrest of the accused and returned empty-handed after the accused managed to cross the border before the officers could reach them.
The NIA had announced that it will seize properties that belong to the two key accused in the Praveen Nettaru murder case in Karnataka if they failed to surrender before it by Friday. The NIA has also offered cash rewards for information about the whereabouts of the absconding accused persons — Umar Farooq and Mustafa Paichar, both residents of Kallu Mutlu in Dakshina Kannada district.
Although the NIA has launched an all out operation in Karnataka and Kerala to nab them, the two have remained elusive since the brutal murder of the BJP Yuva Morcha activist on July 26, 2022.
The NIA authorities have also posted notices on the houses of the accused persons with regard to the seizure of their properties.
The probe agency had submitted evidence to an NIA court in Bengaluru and had sought consent for stringent action against the two accused persons.
On Wednesday, the court granted consent and released the order of confiscation of the properties of the two prime accused if they did not surrender by Friday. The order was given on Wednesday. Since it took over the case from the Karnataka Police, the NIA has submitted a 1,500-page charge sheet against 20 accused to the court and have arrested 14 persons and launched a hunt for six others who are absconding.
The charge sheet includes statements of 240 witnesses. The Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) had given its ticket to Shafi Bellare, an accused in the murder case, in the recently held Assembly elections in Karnataka. The development had raised a debate in the state. He contested from jail, but lost.
Nettaru, a BJP Yuva Morcha activist, was hacked to death at the height of the hijab crisis in the state on July 26, 2022 in Bellare. His murder led to revenge killings and a series of stabbing incidents.