In what may be a breakthrough in the Karan Kakkad abduction case in which model Simran Sood and her associate Vijay Palande have been named as suspects, the police have found the BMW belonging to the victim in Pune. It is too early to say whether Kakkad has been murdered, but that is a possibility, cops said.
The police officers from Amboli police have left for Pune to investigate the case further. According to cops, on Saturday night they received information from the Pune police that the car they were tracing had been found parked in a house at Krishna Keval Nagar. The Mumbai police seized the car at 10.30 am yesterday. “We have not found Karan or his body yet. But we have learnt that Palande had left the car there on March 9 with an acquaintance,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IX) Pratap Dighavkar.
Cops said that a local had informed them about the car when he saw the images of the number plate on television. The car was found parked in the bungalow of Rahul Shinde who has been detained by the Mumbai police for investigations. Assistant Police Inspector S B Thopate of the Kondhwa police station in Pune said, “On March 9, Palande drove the car to Krishna Keval Nagar. He kept the car with a resident there, saying that he would be back later to take it. Learning of this, the Kondhwa police informed the Mumbai Crime Branch was informed.”
The police will now try to find out how Rahul knew Palande — who is now in police custody after an attempt to escape — and whether the former is involved in the kidnapping. Meanwhile, the Crime Branch officers who have been investigating the Arun Tiku murder, in which Palande is the main accused, said that they had gone to Pune after registering the murder case, when they received the information that Palande could be there, but he was not.
“We are now investigating whether Palande had other gang members in Pune,” said a Crime Branch officer on the condition of anonymity.
Today, the Kakkad kidnapping case would be handed over to the Crime Branch, cops said. The Crime Branch officers also said that the Mercedes that was seized from Palande after his arrest was registered in the name of a Vasai resident. When the police visited the place, they found the address to be fake.
Cops now fear that Palande might have killed the owner of the car and was using the vehicle. They will submit the car’s chassis number and engine number to the RTO to ascertain who the actual owner is.
Palande poisoned father against son
The police officers from Crime Branch said that Vijay Palande had carefully crafted the murder of Delhi-based businessman Arun Tiku and was planning to bump off his son Anuj. To achieve this end, he had set about brainwashing the duo against each other. The officers said that Palande had his eyes on Anuj’s flat in Lokhandwala, and knew that unless his father agreed, he would not sell the property. In February, Palande called up Arun and told him that Anuj had kept two paying guests at home and had been spending lavishly on them. He also told Arun that the two wanted to take over the flat and had been brainwashing him. Palande thought that once Arun is in the city he would kill him and make it look like he left for Delhi. He would then take Anuj to some place to bump him off and let people assume that he left with his father. Palande had ordered his accomplices Dhananjay Shinde and Manoj Gajkosh to kill Arun while he left with Anuj for Goa with the intention to murder him, cops said. His planning came to naught when a resident of the Lokhandwala building saw Arun’s murder and reported the crime to the police. Palande cancelled the plan of killing Anuj as he was then the prime suspect in the case.