The murder case of Vinod Patel, the accountant of Maruti Couriers, has been solved. The police have arrested the 29-year-old son of the landlord of the Bhagatwadi flat where Patel used to stay. According to police officials, the accused has been identified as Himanshu Vasant Shah. He was arrested from his Bhayandar residence at 11.30 pm on the night of the murder.
The crime came to light on Thursday when Patel failed to report to work (‘Accountant found dead with knife in neck’, December 13). When his manager Rajnesh Rawal didn’t get any answer to his phone calls, he went to the accountant’s house at Charni Road, where he found the employee lying in a pool of blood with a knife stuck in his neck.
A sum of Rs 3.7 lakh, belonging to the firm, was also missing. Being the accountant, Patel used to take home the money collected in the company each day. The CCTV cameras installed in the building helped the police get leads in the case. Additional Commissioner of Police (South region) Krishna Prakash said, “Patel was murdered at 9.20 am.
The accused entered the house on the pretext of changing his clothes, as he had to attend a wedding. When he went in, he saw that Patel was watching television. He took the opportunity and stabbed him in the neck.” Cops said that the accused had stabbed Patel nine times. When asked about the reason for the murder, Krishna Prakash added, “Shah had a debt of more than Rs 2 lakh. He murdered Patel and stole the money he possessed. In the CCTV footage, Shah can be clearly seen carrying a big bag with him.”
Police had earlier suspected that Patel’s two roommates were behind the crime. They told officers that Shah had been asking questions about the accountant for the past two days. When they were shown the CCTV footage, they identified their landlord’s son. Police went to his house and picked him up for interrogation, during which he confessed to the murder.
He was arrested at 2.30 am yesterday. The accused has been booked under sections 302 (murder), 397 (robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death) and 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code, and has been remanded in police custody.