Investigations into the daylight murder of Vashi builder Sunil Kumar Loharia have revealed that it was masterminded by former encounter specialist Emmanuel Samuel Amolik, who was dismissed from the police force over alleged underworld links and then arrested for his involvement in a fake encounter.
Amolik alleged that he had been threatened by Loharia at gunpoint in December, and planned the murder to avenge himself. The complete picture, however, is yet to emerge. Loharia (50), director of realty firm SK builders, was killed on Saturday by two people outside his office in sector 28 at Vashi, Navi Mumbai.
Apart from Amolik, two other accused have been arrested. Investigations revealed that a total of four people executed the murderous attack at the behest of Amolik. While Wajid Qureshi and Vishwakarma Shettiar were captured on CCTV camera committing the murder, two others were waiting at a distance to help them. They are yet to be nabbed. Shettiar (35), who pumped five bullets into Loharia, was nabbed by locals and Loharia’s staffers. He was later handed over to the police. During interrogations, Shettiar revealed the names of Amolik and Qureshi, who were then picked up from their residence in Nerul and Mumbra.
In his statement, Amolik claimed that Loharia had threatened him in December last year. He was crossing the road at Moraj Circle in Sanpada when he was hit by Loharia’s car. This led to a heated argument between the two, in course of which Loharia threatened Amolik, pointing his pistol at him. Police Inspector Raosaheb Sardesai from Vashi Police station said, “Based on Shettiar’s confession, we arrested Amolik and he confessed to the crime. After Loharia threatened Amolik at gunpoint, he got scared and planned to kill Loharia.”
He added, “Shettiar was arrested in 2001 for murdering a Nerul local. Amolik had arrested him and this is how the two met. We are investigating the matter. Amolik was supposed to pay the accomplices after Sunil was murdered.” Asked whether Amolik supplied the two with arms, he said, “Amolik is denying this. He says that Shettiar got arms for himself and Qureshi, and that it was his idea to perform the murder wearing watchman’s uniforms, so that no one would anticipate their plans.”
Three police teams were formed to arrest Qureshi, who was nabbed last evening. The former police officer has been booked under Section 302 (murder), 120 (B) (conspiracy) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC, and Section 3 and 25 of the Arms Act. He was produced in Holiday Court and has been remanded in police custody till February 22.