In a major breakthrough in the Chetana Ajmera murder case, the Crime Branch has succeeded in arresting the main accused in the case Ashok Shyamlal Purohit alias Maharaj, a cook who was on the run for the past 10 months. He was arrested from Rajsamand district in Rajasthan.
Chetana Ajmera, wife of builder Jayant Ajmera, was found murdered at her house in Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar (East) on May 7, 2012. Cash and jewellery worth Rs 1.4 crore was also stolen and the case was transferred to Mumbai Crime Branch in August 2012.
“Earlier, we had arrested Mahendra Singh Rathod and Hemant Manoria who are both cooks and accomplices in the murder. We were on the look out for Ashok Shyamlal Purohit alias Maharaj, who was the main accused in the crime, for the last 10 months,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (Crime).
“The Crime Branch also arrested a jeweller, Shayamala Soni from Rajasthan, for buying the jewellery from Purohit. Two bar waiters were also held for informing Purohit of the cops’ arrival, aiding in his plan to escape,” said Roy.
Police Inspector Anil Dhole and Santosh Sawant were keeping an eye on Purohit’s whereabouts in Rajasthan for the last five months. “Purohit was on the run after he committed the murder and was continuously on the move. He went to Udaipur, Indore, Bhilwada, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow and Rajasthan, from where he was finally arrested.
He spent a bulk of the stolen money on expensive clothes and bar girls,” said Dhole. “As he was constantly on the move and would keep changing mobile numbers, it was difficult to nab him. We could catch up with him only after he ran away with a 16-year-old girl from Lucknow.
The girl’s parents lodged a missing complaint and we caught him only after we traced the girl’s phone number,” he added. Only Rs 3 lakh have been recovered from Purohit who had come to Mumbai in 1999. “During interrogation, Purohit confessed to killing Chetana because she used to taunt him and they also had an argument over his salary,” said Dhole.