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'Abducted' cable operator found dead, killers arrested

Cops have learnt that a cable operator thought abducted from Ulhasnagar has in fact been murdered. On November 24, Bhagwandas Ochani alias Raja, a cable operator from Ulhasnagar-3, had gone missing. Soon after, his family started receiving calls from the “abductors” who were demanding Rs 1 crore. The family promptly registered a complaint with the Central police station in Ulhasnagar.


The accused, Priya Ailani, Babita Lambana and Akash Menden, were nabbed yesterday

During investigations, police found that Ochani was in the business of lending money. Almost a year ago, he had lent Rs 8 lakh to a woman by the name of Priya Ailani and Rs 2 lakh to another woman, Babita Labana. He had since been asking them to return the debt but they had not paid him back, the cops said.


The deceased, Bhagwandas Ochani alias Raja. Pics/Navneet Barhate

Murderous plot
Tired of his harassing calls, the women met an alleged killer contract, Akash Menden, the police said. “After we picked up Menden from the Lal Chakki area of Ulhasnagar and interrogated him, we learnt that he had been given a contract of Rs 4 lakh to kill Ochani. The supari had been given by Ailani and Labana, as the moneylender was harassing them,” said Uttam Tangade, senior police inspector of Ulhasnagar Crime Branch.

According to the police, on November 24, Labana called Ochani to her house, where Menden and another man, Rajesh Tarur, were lying in wait. When he arrived, they hit him on the head with an iron rod, killing him, and dumped his body at MIDC, Ambernath.

“We have arrested the two women and Menden. The hunt is is on to nab Tarur. We have also recovered Ochani’s body,” said Milind Bharambe, additional commissioner of police, Thane Crime Branch. Officials said the accused made ransom calls to Ochani’s family to mislead the investigators into thinking that Ochani was alive and had been abducted.

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