A special trial court yesterday pronounced six accused guilty in the sensational murder of 22-year-old Sagar Sahani in August 2005.
Son of a businessman, Sagar ran a car decor showroom at Nigdi. He was abducted from Dr Ambedkar Chowk in Pimpri on August 14, 2005, and his abductors demanded Rs 1 crore ransom for his release.
Sagar’s family, after negotiating with Dubai-based gangster Aabid Ali, paid Rs 15 lakh through hawala and was expecting his release. However, Sagar was killed on August 24 and his body was found on the Mumbai-Vapi Highway on August 26.
While investigating the case, the Crime Branch arrested 11 people in connection with the case and booked them under Section 302 (murder), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 364 A (kidnapping for ransom) of the IPC. Besides, they were also booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Those held guilty have been identified as Jagannath Shetty (32), Chhotu alias Arvindbhai Patel alias Chowdhary (36), Bhiku Thanki (46), Jitendra Modha (39), Chhotu Ghisaiwaala alias Ravitsingh Bhadoriya alias Rajput (32), and Nitin Shantilal Modha (33), all residents of Gujarat.
Special public prosecutor Vikas Shah, who had examined 57 witnesses in the case, said out of the 11 accused, Shantilal Modha died during the trial. The decision on the other four accused and the quantum of sentence will be pronounced on December 7.
“Shamshuddin Kunni of Kerala and Aftab Alam of Uttar Pradesh are absconding, while gangster Aabid Ali of Dubai is currently lodged in Hyderabad jail,” said Shah. He added that one of the accused Narayanbhai Jamerai (50), of Porbandar in Gujarat, had turned approver in the case.