In a bar brawl that turned ugly, Rajesh Shyamlal Kukreja (32), a well-known bookie was stabbed to death in a dance bar at Ulhasnagar. According to the police, an altercation with three patrons in the bar was the reason behind the murder.
The police have arrested a former Shiv Sena corporator and an MNS worker in connection with the killing, while the third accused is absconding. However, sources revealed that Kukreja was a marked man, as he was embroiled in a tiff with another big bookie and a lottery shop owner.
He had a fight with the bookie in the same bar last month. It is alleged that the two gave supari to the killers. Sources also said that the three accused were tracking Kukreja for a week, and had ascertained that he was a regular visitor of the dance bar.
According to police, the incident took place at Duru Bar, an infamous dance bar in Ulhasnagar, around 12.30 am. The three men — Shekhar Yadav (45), Kishan Donglekar (23) and Sunil Chikne (35) — had an argument with Kukreja while they were climbing the stairs. They accused Kukreja of pushing them down the steps.
The argument soon turned physical and two of the accused — Yadav and Donglekar — pulled out a knife and stabbed him to death. An associate of Kukreja, Suresh Bhagchandani (30) was also injured in the fight.
Soon after the gruesome incident, the bar employees managed to catch Yadav and Donglekar and handed them over to the police. The Ulhasnagar-1 police have registered an FIR under sections 302, 307, 504,506 and 34 of the IPC, and have launched a manhunt for the third accused Chikne, who fled the spot after the killing.
“We are investigating all possible angles. We have also written to authorities to cancel the bar licence,” said Shivaji Rathod, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Ulhasnagar.
Kukreja, a resident of Kala Nivas, Ulhasnagar-1 was a famous bookie and was also attached with a local political outfit. His father Shyam Kukreja alias Shyam Jadya was also a bookie and was killed some years back. The accused, Yadav, a resident of Ulhasnagar-4, is a former Shiv Sena corporator and has a criminal background. He is a close associate of former gangster Deepak Sonde. Donglekar, a resident of Mahadev Nagar, Ulhasnagar- 4 and Chikne a resident of Ulhasnagar-5 are Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers.