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Builder arrested in Loharia murder case

The Mumbai crime branch has made another arrest in the murder case of Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Kumar Loharia. Sumeet Bachewar, owner of Bachewar Enterprise and a leading builder from Navi Mumbai, was arrested on Wednesday. The crime branch said he had a long-running dispute with Loharia.

Sumeet Bachewar

“Both of them had filed different types of cases against each other like cheating, threatening and forgery. Loharia was even arrested in the cases and had later got bail,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy.

Bachewar is married and has adopted a girl. “Bachewar was a road contractor till 1997. Then he got into construction and started making money via the CIDCO’s 12.5 per cent scheme for developing land. In 2003 he got in touch with builder Suresh Bijlani and in 2005 the duo contacted Loharia. Bachewar, also a property dealer, had sold a 30,000-sq m plot in 2008 in Ulwe to Loharia, which the latter learnt was forged and proceeded to lodge a police complaint,” said a crime branch officer.

Since then, Bachewar and Loharia were locked in constant squabbles. Later, the property’s value went up, and police suspect it can be one of the reasons Loharia was killed, by collusion of builders Suresh Bijlani and Vijay Gajra, real estate agents Bhupesh Gupta, Sumit Bacchewar and Suryaprakash Agarwal, and architect Anurag Garg, since all of them had some or the other bone to pick with Loharia. Garg and Gajra had sold flats to Loharia while Agarwal was the agent who showed Loharia properties, cops said.

“Loharia had exposed a scam by filing an RTI inquiry about FSI in Navi Mumbai constructions which posed trouble for a lot of builders here,” said a police officer. Loharia was shot dead in broad daylight outside his office in Vashi by two assailants on February 16. Former encounter specialist Emmanuel Amolik and two hitmen, Venkatesh Shettiyar and Wajid Qureshi, have been arrested in the case so far.

Rs 2-lakh hit
Qureshi told the crime branch that he had carried out the shootout as Amolik had given him Rs 10,000 prior to the crime, while Shettiyar, who was promised Rs 2 lakh, was paid Rs 15,000. The crime branch said they are searching for the pistol used for the crime. Qureshi told the cops he had thrown it in the sea. “We are also looking into underworld links. Some people close to gangster Chhota Rajan will be soon interrogated,” said the police officer.

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