Family of Naresh Chaddi, a former aide of Pappu Kalani and a key witness in the Bhatija brothers’ murder case, claims he was murdered
Gangster Naresh Aasandas Pahalajani alias Naresh Chaddi (52) was found dead in his apartment on Tuesday night. After the post-mortem report said he had contusions and abrasions on his body, his family alleged that he has been murdered, as he was a key witness in the 1990 Bhatija brothers’ murder case in Thane.
Naresh had rented an apartment in Sai Paradise building situated in Kalyan’s Khadakpada area, where he used to live with his wife Deepa. His son Pravin (26) and daughter Pooja (22) live in Bengaluru. A native of Ulhasnagar, he had shifted to Tamil Nadu in 2013. He was an associate of gangster-turned-politician Suresh Budharmal Kalani aka Pappu Kalani and had criminal cases against him there.
Raju Pahalajani (50), Naresh’s brother, said police must investigate the case as he suspects that someone behind the murder of Inder Bhatija and Ghanshyam Bhatija killed him. “My brother was one of the important witnesses in the Bhatija brothers’ murder case. And his return to Mumbai was a threat for a politician, who is involved in the case,” said Raju.
When Deepa returned from their native town at 8pm on Tuesday, she waited at Kalyan railway station for Naresh to pick her up but neither did he answer her phone calls nor did he turn up at the station. “After waiting for a long time, I went to our place on my own. But no one answered the door. So I got a locksmith to help me get in,” said Deepa.
She found Naresh lying on the sofa. “We took him to Rukmani Bai hospital, where he was declared dead and later shifted to JJ Hospital for further procedure,” she added.
The post-mortem report by JJ Hospital’s Dr A H Meshram and Dr D J Sangle, said Naresh had contusions and abrasions over his body. Final opinion on his cause of death is pending since histopathology, chemical analysis and accessory examination reports are still awaited.
Gulabrao Gore, Senior Police Inspector, Khadakpada police station, said they have registered an accidental death case and are further investigating the matter. “We are waiting for the other medical reports that will reveal the actual cause of death. Based on those, we will further investigate the case and if necessary register a case according to the statement or doubts of the family members.”
Naresh Chaddi, a former associate of Suresh Budharmal Kalani, was wanted in 10 criminal cases in Ulhasnagar division — two were registered in Ulhasnagar-1 police station, three in Central police station and five in Vitthalwadi police station. One of them was under TADA court and another for involvement in a bomb blast. He surrendered in all of them in 2012. Naresh, along with Kalani, was booked in the Maruti Jadhav murder case on July 10, 1992. His name attracted spotlight in April 2010 after a text message was sent to BJP leader Eknath Khadse and the then Thane police commissioner Anil Dhere stating that Naresh was planning to plant bombs in the city. Khadse raised the matter in the Assembly, prompting a high-level inquiry, but it was reportedly ascertained that Chaddi had not sent any such message.