The murder case of CIDCO official Atul Mhatre was cracked yesterday with the arrest of four accused persons. According to Panvel police, investigations had confirmed their suspicions that the CIDCO official was killed over a property deal, after he demanded Rs 20 lakh as commission for a plot in Kamothe located close to the planned Navi Mumbai International Airport.
According to the Panvel city police, Mhatre (35) worked with the rehabilitation and property department of Navi Mumbai’s nodal agency CIDCO. After he went missing on February 8, Panvel city police had lodged an FIR under sections 363 and 365 (abduction) of the IPC against unknown persons. Mhatre’s body was found in a village near Panvel on February 10, with 30 stab wounds. His Maruti car was later found abandoned on the Uran-Panvel road with his wig, footwear and other belongings lying scattered in and around the car.
“Investigating the case, we picked up several estate agents from the area and later learnt that Mhatre used to work part time as an estate agent. For clearing and selling a plot at Kamothe, he had taken Rs 3 lakh from a client called Prem Patil. He was demanding another Rs 20 lakh from him, a demand that cost him his life,” said Ramesh Ghadavale, senior police inspector of Panvel police station.
Patil, along with three friends, identified as Nitin Bhoiyer, Anand Cruze and Kunal Salunkhe, met Mhatre on February 8 and allegedly stabbed him in his car at Panvel. They later took his body to the T-junction at Manghed Village near Panvel, where they dumped it.