An 18-year-old boy was murdered on the streets of Kurla on Monday night, following an argument with a local sweeper over the alleged theft of a mobile phone.
The incident took place at 11.40 pm, after the teenage victim Sunil Kumar Gupta was accosted by the 38-year-old accused Sushil Tanaji Thete, who claimed that the boy had stolen his mobile phone. According to locals, Thete was a drug addict and was trying to extort money from Gupta. They added that the accused was notorious for catching hold of locals, accusing them of stealing his valuables, and demanding money from them.
On Monday night, Sunil met up with his friend Mahesh Yadav on his way back home from work, after which he went home for dinner. At around 11 pm, Thete approached Yadav and asked him where Sunil was.
Yadav said, “Sunil had just returned from work when we met, after which he went home for dinner. While I was going back home, Thete called me and started asking me about Sunil, complaining that he had stolen his mobile phone. I called Sunil so that the confusion could be cleared. Their discussion soon turned into an argument, and Gupta went home, only to emerge with a knife.”
The accused then allegedly stabbed Sunil on his hand. Sunil started running, with Thete on his tail. Sunil’s father appeared at the spot and tried to intervene. In the confusion that ensued, Thete stabbed the boy on his chest.
Yadav added, “After the incident, he stayed at the spot, challenging the bystanders to catch him. When the crowd grew, he ran away towards the station.” He was apprehended near Kurla station and arrested by officials from the beat chowky. Meanwhile, Sunil was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead.
Senior Inspector Laxman Chimaji Bhalerao of Kurla police station said, “The police officials at the beat chowky nabbed him after they saw a crowd following him. Later, they came to know that the man was on the run after having murdered someone. He was arrested and brought to Kurla police station.”
The arrested accused has been booked for murder and under Section 37 of the Arms Act. He was produced in Kurla court yesterday and has been remanded in police custody.