A man, who had killed his friend, tried to cover up the crime by fabricating an elaborate tale and feeding it to the victim’s brother.
The accused, identified as Sushil alias Dungarya Dashrath Kuurade, told his victim Shivanand’s brother than he had last spotted Shivanand in the Andheri Court, after the police had arrested him. The victim’s brother Suryakant Pujari then searched high and low for his brother for a year, but failed to locate him in any of the state’s jails or police stations.
“Suryakant’s brother Shivanand alias Lodya Pujari (34) was a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, MIDC, and worked as a driver. He went missing in May, 2012. When Suryakant approached Shivanand’s friend Sushil to ask about his brother’s whereabouts, he was told that Shivanand had been spotted in Andheri Court, after he was arrested by the police,” said Senior Police Inspector Vyankat Patil of Crime Branch Unit VII.
He added, “Suryakant then embarked on a wild goose chase, going thrice to Arthur Road jail and twice to Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai. He also went to Nashik Jail, Yerwada Jail in Pune and visited several police stations, thinking that he might find his brother in one of them. He searched for a whole year but did not find his brother.”
Suryakant was then advised to lodge a missing person’s complaint by one of the police officers.
He lodged a missing complaint with the MIDC police in April this year.
In May 2012, the Kanjurmarg police had found an unidentified body in a gutter on the Eastern Express Highway, after which they had asked the Crime Branch Unit VII to try and trace its identity. “We had started checking all the missing complaints in the area and then summoned relatives of missing people to identify the body and the clothes, but had not managed to identify the body,” said Police Inspector Sanjay Surve of Crime Branch Unit VII.
The day Suryakant lodged the missing complaint, constable Sanjay Jadhav brought him to the Unit VII office in Ghatkopar and showed him the clothes and photos of the body that they had found in Kanjurmarg back in May, 2012.
“As Suryakant’s wife used to work in a shirt manufacturing unit, she used to get shirts at cheap rates, with the tag saying ‘Mahavir’ in each of them. He found the tag in the shirt that had been recovered from the body,” said Surve.
After the body was identified, the police called up Sushil, who had lied to Suryakant about having seen his brother in the Andheri court. While questioning him, the police noted that Sushil was changing his statements.
“Sushil confessed he had killed Shivanand along with his friends Riyaz Ansari and Babloo Shaikh. Shaikh and Sushil are bus drivers and Riyaz a taxi driver. Shivanand, who was also a bus driver, used to steal valuables from the buses and taxis of the accused and would beat them in an inebriated state,” said Surve.
Tired of the abuse, Shaikh, Sushil and Riyaz plotted revenge.
They took Shivanand out for drinks and later killed him by hitting him with a jack, and then dumping his body on the Eastern Express Highway near Kanjurmarg.