The shocking murder of a 21-year-old at the hands of his five friends occurred reportedly because they had an argument over the volume of the car radio, which they were listening to while on their way for a picnic in Khadavli in Thane district on Sunday.
The incident came to light after a motor school driver found the abandoned body, which was dumped by the friends, on the Eastern Express Highway near Vikhroli at 8.30 am on Monday.
The deceased has been identified as Ghatkopar resident Arjun Sudam Temkar, while the five accused have been named as Shubham Juatkar, Nayan Rupwate, Mayur Chabusvar, Akshay More and Harshad Kubal. Police said Rupwate had allegedly strangulated Temkar to death with a copper wire while he was sitting in the passenger’s seat of the Indigo car they were travelling in.
“A missing complaint was filed with the Ghatkopar police station on Sunday at 8 pm by the deceased’s parents since he had left for Khadavli at 5 pm on the same day without informing them. The murder took place within an hour of the journey,” said Rajkumar Kothmire, police inspector at Ghatkopar police station.
Police made the breakthrough in the case after recovering the deceased’s mobile phone. “After the killing, the body was dumped at Vikhroli. We began investigations, and scanned the victim’s mobile phone call records. We got to know that Juatkar was the last person to call him. We then picked him up from his residence and brought him to the police station. Initially, he lied stating that he had called the deceased because Temkar wanted to sell his mobile phone through him, but later broke down and confessed to the crime. Subsequently, we arrested Kubal from Bhatwadi in Ghatkopar, while the other three are still absconding,” said Kothmire.
The two arrested accused and the seized car have been handed over to the Vikhroli police since Temkar’s body was found in their jurisdiction. All the five accused have been booked under Section 302 (punishment for murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance) of the Indian Penal Code. The two arrested accused -- Juatkar and Kubal -- were produced in court and have been remanded in police custody.
More than a tiff
Police said that during the course of the investigations, they also learnt that the main accused Rupwate was jealous of Temkar, as he was allegedly having an affair with a girl whom Rupwate liked for years. Police said they are investigating all angles in the murder, and a clearer picture will emerge after the arrests of the remaining accused.