With two arrests in connection with the murder of 50-year-old stockbroker Vijay Vora, cops would have expected to crack the case in a relatively short period. However, in the days that followed the matter has assumed more complexity than a Gordian knot. Now, Borivli police officers are mulling conducting a brain-mapping test on 21-year-old Vikas Verma who was arrested by officers from Crime Branch, Unit XI as he has been unable to corroborate anything pertaining to the modus operandi of the crime.
Verma had been apprehended after he was found using Vora’s cellphone, which was swiped by the killers. After Crime Branch officers handed him over to Borivli police, the latter quizzed him about the phone. He then told the cops that he had picked it up from the roadside, where he found it lying. On further interrogation, Verma changed his statement, saying he had purchased the mobile from a stranger.
Sources say Verma is an alcoholic, who does petty jobs like washing vessels for catering companies. He has been shifting his accounts so frequently that it has become tricky for Borivli police to judge what to believe. So, the cops have presented a written application to the court for conducting a brain-mapping test. In fact, police officers acknowledge that they will have to carry out the entire investigation again if Verma fails to disclose anything about the murder even in the examination.
“When we asked him about the murder, he was unable to substantiate anything. Neither was he able to identify the crime spot, nor could he tell us how the murder was committed,” said an officer from Borivli police station. When the accused was asked about his accomplices, he took the name of Ajay Jadhav, who was staying at Jogeshwari.
“We arrested Jadhav as Verma had named him, but even the latter could not explain how the crime was effected. Jadhav told us that he had a fight with Verma a few months ago, and since then Verma hates him,” said PI Raju Adane, investigating officer of the case from Borivli police station.
The most shocking fact is that Verma has maintained he knows nothing about the gold- plated sacred idol, which was deemed the motive behind the robbery and murder. Even on learning that the statue was not real gold, Verma and Jadhav were unable to reveal anything about its disappearance. “If Verma had planned the murder or committed it, at some point he would have told us something remotely related to the crime,” said a police officer, on condition of anonymity.
“We have not yet given Verma a clean chit. After the brain-mapping test we will be able to decide whether he was really a part of the conspiracy and execution of Vora’s murder,” said Mahesh Patil, deputy commissioner of police (Zone XI).
Sim card tricks
On April 2, after Vora’s body was found in his flat at Adeshwardham building, his wife Pallavi (47) told the police officers that her husband’s mobile phone had also been stolen. Crime Branch officers began tracing the phone’s location and found that two SIM cards had been inserted in it on different days since the crime. One SIM card showed the location of Jogeshwari, the other of Bhayander. Cops detained a man from Jogeshwari who owned one of the cards. He informed the police that he had used a friend’s cellphone to make a call to his village. With the help of the SIM card owner, the police tracked down Verma and arrested him from Jogeshwari on April 9.