One person has been arrested for killing a stockbroker over a week ago while attempting to steal a gold-plated idol he owned. Two of his accomplices are still absconding. MiD DAY had reported about the murder of 50-year-old Vijay Vora on April 4 (‘Did these three men murder stockbroker for Jain idol?’).
In January, Vora hosted a social function at his residence at Adheshwar Dham on SV Road in Borivli (W) for the installation of the Panchdhatu (alloy of five metals) idol, which he had brought home from a Jain temple some 15 years ago. He invited 200 people for lunch for the installation of the idol at the temple in his house. He hired a catering company where the accused Vikas Jayprakash Verma (21) and his two accomplices worked as helpers.
The three workers assumed that the idol was made entirely of gold worth lakhs and decided to rob it. Months later, on April 2, the trio barged into Vora’s house to steal the idol. But they bumped into Vora, who raised an objection, after which the accused killed him. The same day, the police registered a case after Vora’s wife, Pallavi (47), lodged an FIR after the murder and robbery. The next day she informed the police that her husband’s mobile phone was also missing. “We began tracing the mobile phone and found that two SIM cards had been used on it on different days since the murder. One SIM card was traced to Jogeshwari and the other to Bhayander,” said an officer from Unit XI of the Crime Branch. The officers detained the man from Jogeshwari who owned one of the SIM cards.
The man informed the police that he had used his friend’s mobile phone to make a call to his village. With the help of the SIM card owner, the police tracked Verma and arrested him from Jogeshwari on Wednesday. He confessed to killing Vora with his associates. In his statement, Verma told the police that he and his accomplices, who are still at large, had not planned to kill Vora, but when he resisted the robbery they gagged him and banged his head against the wall. A resident of Bhayander, Verma claimed he was sitting outside the building while his accomplices went inside and executed the plan. He said he took the cell phone while the idol was with the other accused.
Police officers said they had a hunch that the catering workers were involved in the murder as two years ago a Jain temple in the same area was robbed of its idol by caterers in a similar fashion. “We asked the wife if they had hired caterers and took the investigation on from there,” said the officer.