Prominent Karnataka magazine editor arrested for giving ‘supari’ to kill fellow journalist

Ravi Belagere, a prominent journalist and editor of Kannada weekly named Hai Bangalore has been arrested by the police on charges of giving a supari (illegal contract) to kill his former colleague and fellow journalist Sunil Heggaravanahalli.

The Bangalore police reached his residence in the city’s Padmanabhanagar area on Friday and proceeded to question him in this matter.

His involvement came to the forefront after the Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested a sharp shooter named Tahir Hussain. He in turn led the investigators to another contract killer named Shashidhar Mundevadigi who hails from the Vijayapura district, which is notorious for illegal gun running and “supari” business.

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Shashidhar then seems to have confessed about receiving a Supari from Belagere about three months ago to murder Sunil Heggaravanahalli.

The supposed motive behind this murder is that Heggaravanahalli was having an affair with Belagere’s second wife. This as a result angered Belagere, who hatched the murder plot.

Belagere had in the past too run afoul of the law when he was sentenced to an year in jail by the Karnataka Assembly for writing articles which were allegedly defamatory to state legislators. A fine of Rs 10,000 was also imposed against him, which failing to pay would have meant a 6 months extension to his sentence. He though got a relief when the Karnataka High Court put a stay on his punishment.

Such an action against Belagere was  supposedly brought on after two MLAs complained to the privilege committee against his articles. This resulted in a breach of privilege resolution being passed in the Karnataka assembly, which enabled these punishments.

The state legislatures and the Parliament are provided such powers to punish individuals via sections 194 and sections 195 respectively of the Indian Constitution.

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