Police said that the two siblings are prime suspects in the murder, adding that the duo practiced their shooting skills at a farmhouse prior the murder. The murder was the fallout of a political rivalry between two factions within the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Pashan.
The arrested suspects have been identified as Chetan Tanaji Nimhan (27) and his elder brother Tushar (33). Police said that Chetan is a state junior-level shooting champion in the 10-metre range and has even won two medals at the district-level championships.
All guns blazing
On the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, Chetan and Tushar along with 10 others attacked Pratik, who is a relative of theirs, pumping eight bullets into him and also trashed two of Pratik’s friends.
“Pratik died on the spot, as he had received multiple bullet shots to his body and his other two friends sustained minor injuries,” said Shahaji Umap, deputy commissioner of police (zone III). He said that the prime suspects, Chetan and Tushar, had procured two country-made pistols and 10 rounds from a north Indian tenant who used to reside in the area. “Before executing the killing, the duo, along with another accomplice, had practiced their shooting by firing two rounds at a farmhouse to accustom themselves to the country-made fire arms,” said Umap.
According to the police, due to his expertise Chetan took charge as the instructor and directed his elder brother on how to use the firearm. “During their interrogation, the brothers told us that Pratik used to taunt them whenever they came face to face. We have recovered the firearms used in the killing and confiscated the cartridges from the scene of crime,” said Umap, adding that that there is a strong angle of political rivalry and a game of supremacy between the warring Nimhan families.
Ajay Kadam, police in-charge at Chatushrungi police station, said that three teams of personnel from the Detection branch have been formed and dispatched to nab the remaining suspects who are still at large. “Their names and addresses have been traced and they will be behind bars soon,” said Umap.
The police, soon after the incident, had recovered two weapons from the crime scene and also arrested Munna Nimhan, who was part of group who had attacked Pratik.