Police yesterday nabbed the main suspect in the gruesome murder case of a 20-year-old bookie, all thanks to an alert woman - a fruit seller by profession - who resided at Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivli (E).
It was because of her that the alleged murderer was nabbed right when he was disposing the body in the small hours of Friday. The accused, Hansmukh Dediya (40), a supplier of construction material, had gambled around Rs 20 lakh on cricket betting and lost the stakes. But when it came time to pay up the dues to the bookie, one Rajesh Giri, Dediya began resorting to excuses to put off the payment.
After persistent calls by the bookie, Dediya finally asked Giri to send his man to collect the money from his residence at MHB Colony in Borivli (W) on Thursday. According to the police, Giri sent one of his trusted employees Amarnath Yadav, a bookkeeper, to Dediya’s house, where the punter gave him a bag heavy with cash and asked him to call his boss and confirm that he had received the dues. Yadav saw that the money was good, and called up Giri and told him that the slate was clean.
Cat’s in the bag
What the bookie’s man didn’t know was that Dediya had craftily slipped in a travel ticket inside the bag he had handed him. When Yadav was making his way back, he got a call from Dediya, who said that he had forgotten the ticket for an important trip inside the bag and needed it urgently. “So would you come back and give me the ticket? And also take your Diwali gift,” he apparently told Yadav.
Dediya then directed Yadav to meet him at his apartment building’s terrace where, he claimed, he had been disbursing presents for the festival since morning. Around 3.30 pm, While Yadav was waiting, Dediya came and assaulted him, hitting him on the head and forehead several times till he died. Hearing his screams, the watchman ran up to the terrace but Dediya, who is also chairman of the housing society, told him to go back as “nothing has happened”. The watchman complied.
After Yadav died, Dediya went to his apartment and slept for more than an hour, while he body remained at the terrace. In the small hours of Friday, Dediya swaddled up the body in sheets and stashed it away in the boot of his elder brother’s Swift car. He then drove up to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and discarded it without attracting any particular attention from anyone. However, while he was throwing away the blood-stained sheets in the twilight hours before sunrise, a woman fruit vendor spotted him.
Truth is out
The vendor told her husband who informed Police Inspector (PI) Raghunath Dalvi of Sahar police station. Incidentally, two cops of Kasturba Marg police station, PI Raghunath Dalvi and Assistant Police Inspector (API) Pradeep Raorane, happened to be at the national park for a jog.
They were contacted and informed of the situation. API Raorane said, “We asked the park’s security guards to close the gates and stop the white Swift. However, we reached the spot before the vehicle was out. We halted it and started questioning Dediya, but he did not reveal anything.”
“We checked his car and found blood stains in it but he claimed innocence. We then baited him with a ‘settlement’. When he agreed to pay us to hush up the matter, we made him reveal everything, and he ended up admitting the crime. He said that after killing Yadav, he washed the building’s terrace.
He wanted to make it look like Yadav had fled with the cash,” said PI Dalvi. API Raorane added, “We nabbed the accused because of that fruit vendor woman. Otherwise, it would have been very difficult to catch him. We have taken him in custody and further investigation is going on.”