Family shouts 'thief' to get mob to lynch innocent man

Though murders in the city for infidelity are not unheard of, the modus operandi of the Kharva family to eliminate the man having an affair with a woman in the family is possibly the first of its kind. Ironically, the woman was involved in the murder.

Illustration/ Jishu Dev Malakar

Arrested for a well-planned murder of Sanjay Mukherjee (34), four members of the Kharva family could have never imagined that they would be caught for what could have easily passed as a case of mob violence. 

Kishan (29), his wife Bharati (30), Bharat (20), and Radha Kharva (55) very cunningly drove Mukherjee to a public place and started hitting him. They created a hue and cry about him being a thief, and got the locals around to join them to teach the 'thief" a lesson. They ultimately fulfilled their desire for revenge against Mukherjee. The victim was having an affair with Bharati, who has also been booked for the murder. It is suspected that she did it under family pressure.

According to PSI Mahesh Ingle of Goregaon police, the intimacy between Mukherjee and Bharati irked the family, further infuriated by Mukherjee's refusal to back off from the relationship, which was exposed by a close family friend. It led to several fights and much strife within the family. Mukherjee was even called to the Kharva residence to sort the matter, but in vain.

According to Ingle, the Kharvas went to Mukherjee's place in Hanuman Nagar in Goregaon on October 10, with a well-laid plan of killing him in case he refused to break up with Bharati. 

Herd instinct
However, after a heated argument, Mukherjee still refused to yiled to the family's wish, and they assaulted him with bamboo sticks they had carried along. They then carried an injured Mukherjee in an auto rickshaw to the police colony at Dongri in Goregaon (West). "Around 6.30 pm, they arrived at the spot and let the auto go. Then they started shouting, "Chor chor, maaro maaro". They kept hitting him until a few locals joined in," said Ingle.

One of the local shop owners, Atul Shah, said, "I was in the shop when people started shouting about a thief. A mob gathered to pound him. Someone called the police."

According to PSI Ingle, Mukherjee was taken to Siddharth hospital but doctors declared him dead on arrival.

Suspecting something fishy, cops initiated an inquiry which bared the family's grudge against Mukherjee and the four members were called for questioning. The accused eventually confessed to the crime.

Ingle said, "It was a cleverly planned murder in which the locals were shrewdly roped in. All the accused were presented in the Borivli court and have been remanded to police custody. They have been charged under Sections 302 (murder) and 34 (common intentions) of the IPC."

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