Guilt-ridden accused visited Shirdi temple after murdering Mumbai RTI activist
After committing a heinous crime where they stabbed RTI activist Vasant Patil 22 times, the three accused rushed off to Shirdi Sai Baba temple hoping to purge their sins, cops said.
Crime Branch officials yesterday arrested the trio for allegedly killing Vasant Motiram Patil, activist and BJP worker last Monday (‘RTI activist killed in his house, cops suspect vendetta’, July 23, MiD DAY). The case was handed to Crime Branch a day after the murder, and is now headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Prafful Bhosale.
Confirming the arrests, Bhosale said, “We have arrested Sagar Khopade, son of Baban Khopade, who was earlier arrested by the Bhandup police, and two of his associates -- Officials said that after killing Patil in his house at Tembipada in Bhandup (W) on Monday after his wife Maya had stepped out, the accused visited the temple to wash away their ‘sins’.
“After receiving a tip-off, we picked up the three from Mulund check naka, while they were on their way back from the temple. We found that they had a chopper and a sword, which they used to stab Patil 22 times,” added Venkat Patil, senior inspector of Crime Branch Unit VII, who is helping Bhosale withthe case.
The four accused -- Baban Khopade, son Sagar and his two associates -- entered Patil’s home and allegedly stabbed him to death while his wife had gone out to answer nature’s call. “Patil had lodged a complaint against Khopade’s illegal constructions following which the civic body and the collector had ordered to demolish the illegal constructions,” added Bhosale. The case was handed to the Crime Branch, after the family had alleged that the Bhandup police were hand in glove with the accused.