Acting on an audio clip about impending attacks on witnesses in a murder case, the Surathkal police arrested five persons, including ‘Pinky’ Nawaz, the prime accused in the 2018 murder of Bharatiya Janata Party activist Deepak Rao.
Apart from Nawaz, who was on bail, the police arrested Mohammed Faizal, 21, Mohammed Safwan, 23, Mohammed Niyaz, 20, and Mohammed Mustafa.
Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar told reporters that a few days ago a bus stop in memory of Deepak was inaugurated in Surathkal area.
The city police’s social media monitoring cell noticed in a WhatsApp group an audio conversation of Nawaz with his alleged associates expressing his intention to murder those who attended the bus stop inauguration. Life threats were issued to witnesses in Deepak murder case, which included a local councillor, during the conversation.
Investigation, Mr. Kumar said, revealed about Nawaz trying to regroup his gang and carry out activities to disturb peace.
Nawaz was grievously injured eight months ago.
The Surathkal police were questioning the arrested persons, who are accused of offences under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 195 (a) (threatening any person to give false evidence) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. Search was on for other alleged associates, Mr. Kumar said.