'Prime suspect' turns up, says he left for Nepal days before crime

In a major development in Tuesday’s double murder case in which a couple was hacked to death in the wee hours, the prime suspect, engineering student Dilbahadur Tamang, has come back to the city and told the Warje police that he was in Kathmandu when the incident took place.

Tamang said he was in Nepal as his college vacation was on and he had nothing to do with the murders.

The Sterling heights housing society in Warje, where the Ranjeri couple was found murdered in the wee hours of Tuesday. After the murder, the police claimed the engineering student living with the couple was the prime suspect. file Pic 

After the crime, the police had claimed that Tamang, who used to live with the murdered Kamalakar and Shimla Ranjeri, and the family cook, Sunny Lamba, had hacked the couple to death and fled with Rs 12.5 lakh and the couple’s car.

“Tamang told us that he had seen the news and received a rude shock when his name cropped up in the case, following which he immediately left for the city to clarify the matter with police,” ACP Kalyan Lawange said.

The police said that they were sure of the role of Lamba in the crime. They said Lamba and two more people had hatched the plan to kill the couple and make away with the cash and car.

Lawange said Tamang arrived in the city on Wednesday night and went straight to the police station, where he explained that he had 20 days ago left for his home in Kathmandu as his college vacations were on.

“Tamang also told us that the Ranjeris were like his own parents and they had given him accommodation with them and treated him like their son and to kill them for money was unthinkable for him,” he said. “We have started taking his statement and his claim will be investigated.”

The police said they would now check Tamang’s cell phone locations for the past 20 days.

Lawange said they had received some leads in the case and the culprits would soon be behind bars.

On Tuesday around 1.30 am, the Ranjeris were found murdered in their flat in Sterling Heights, Warje-Malwadi. Their car was also missing. The police said that Rs 12.50 lakh was missing. Kamlakar had received the amount as token money from a person who had bought the flat for Rs 42 lakh.  

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