A 27-year-old youth was allegedly murdered by his business rivals late on Sunday night over the issue of pigs. Victim Bappu Ashok Mane’s assailants reportedly suspected that he had stolen their pigs. This is the second case of murder reported in the city over the issue of stolen pigs, this month.

Dattawadi police have registered a case under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. Five persons have also been detained in this connection. Bappu was reportedly involved in a brawl with some persons on June 23, after which his brother was also abducted, beaten up and left near his home by the unidentified suspects.

Mane, a resident of Shanti Corner in Anand Nagar, was brutally beaten up by the suspects on Sunday night. “Mane was sitting in front of his house on Sunday evening around 7.30 pm, when four to five suspects came in a car and picked him up. Mane’s mother saw this and informed her younger son,” said Police Inspector Smita Jadhav from Dattawadi police station, who is investigating the case.

There is stiff competition in the pork industry, and a burgeoning demand in the market, leading to business rivalries

“Mane’s younger brother looked for him in the area and, after a while, spotted him lying by the side of a canal. Bappu informed him that the suspects had beaten him up brutally and that he could not walk. Bappu was brought home by his brother on a motorcycle. After reaching home, he drank some water, and passed away within minutes,” said PI Jadhav.

After being informed about the incident, Dattawadi police reached the spot and sent Bappu’s body for autopsy in Sassoon Hospital. “Prima facie, Bappu’s death was caused by serious internal injuries, but the exact reason will be clear only after the post mortem report is received,” said police.

Earlier this month, Nilesh Gopal Pawar (20) from Bopodi, was also killed by some suspects over pigs stolen from their area. The huge market for pork and the economics involved in this business has resulted in rivalry between gangs, said a senior police officer.