Two weeks after he went into hiding, Anil Merchande alias Mahesh Koli, a Brother in a local church in Malvani, was arrested on Friday for the murder of Jitender Patil, a local NCP leader’s son. Sunday MiD DAY had reported the murder on November 10, ‘Debtor kills man, dumps body at Madh Island.’
Merchande alias Koli surrendered at the Borivli court on Friday,alleging that he feared he would be killed otherwise in a fake police encounter.
Interestingly, before surrendering, Koli dashed off letters to the President of India, the Prime Minister, as well as to the Director General of Police, stating that he had nothing to do with the murder and that the police was falsely implicating him in the case.
According to Senior Police Inspector Abdul Rauf Sheikh of Malvani police station, Jitender Patil, 32, was murdered allegedly by the main accused Anil Merchande alias Mahesh Koli in the presence of Koli’s parents, who too have been arrested on charges of conspiracy as they witnessed the murder and did not report it.
Patil had loaned R3 lakh to Merchande for his marriage. However, when Patil demanded the loan be repaid, the accused refused. As Merchande is affiliated with the local church in Malvani, he allegedly convinced locals that Patil was threatening him.
Following the murder, Merchande went into hiding. According to his statement in court, he decided to surrender after a friend told him the police were trying to kill him in a staged encounter. Ironically, before surrendering he wrote to the top cops seeking protection.
Investigating officer Arun Thorat of Malvani police station said, “Merchande played a key role in the murder. We have arrested him and further interrogations are on.”