Cops on the hunt for rock solid evidence

While the four accused in the  double murder case of Amboli youths are already in the dock, DN Nagar cops are working to gather evidence and build a strong case against them. Cops have recorded the statements of nine prime witnesses, including the friends of Santos and Reuben who had accompanied them, the coconut water vendor, paan shop owner, and the waiters of the Amboli Bar and Kitchen.

The four accused arrested by the DN Nagar police have been identified as Jitendra Rana, Sunil Both, Satish Durgas and Deepak Piswal. All have confessed to their crimes. With the 14-day mandatory period of police custody over, they are scheduled to be produced before court today. Cops, however, will request the permission to keep them in their custody for another 14 days, so they can develop strong cases against them.

"We want the case to be watertight. We have recovered their weapons. But we want to keep them under custody for a while longer, as we have to record the statements of three more witnesses. There are nine witnesses in the case, including the friends of the deceased, the coconut water vendor, the paan shop owner and the waiters of the restaurant. One of the girls is in so much shock that she has been taken to Varanasi," said V Bhoite, senior police inspector from DN Nagar police station. One of the accused, identified as Satish Durgas, has been booked under charges of attempted murder.

According to the police, he picked up the knives from the coconut water vendor to stab Santos.  According to statements made by Both, Durgas and Piswal, the three, who work as sweepers in Lokhandwala, were attending a party in their locality, when a flustered Rana came running towards them.

He told them that he had been beaten up by four men. Not waiting to hear the rest of the story, they rushed to the spot with him. When Durgas got off the rickshaw, he saw a coconut vendor who was wrapping up for the day. "Durgas picked up two knives from the vendor, and handed one to Rana.

Both and Piswal were carrying stumps and hockey sticks. Durgas and Rana approached Reuben and Keenan and stabbed them," said a police inspector at DN Nagar police station. "The other two friends, Avinash Solanki and Benjamin Fernandez were saved, as they were beaten up with hockey sticks and stumps," added the officer.

The other 17 accused, who had added muscle to Rana's side, have been arrested for rioting. They will also be presented before the court today.

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