Preliminary investigations have revealed that Uday Pathak, the main accused for the murder of four youths from Kurar village in Malad (East), was a notorious local goon, with at least 12 criminal cases registered against him at the Kurar and Dindoshi police stations.
The 34-year-old native of Uttar Pradesh is wanted for a murder case, three attempts to murder, and cases under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act (MPDA). In fact, Pathak had become such a nuisance to the local police that they had to banish him from the city limits twice in the past.
According to the police officers investigating the case, Pathak's father Sharda (65), is also a notorious criminal in Uttar Pradesh, who was even convicted for a murder. After serving rigorous imprisonment, he was released from a UP jail only last month, and had returned to Mumbai.
Pathak had been a resident of Mumbai for the past 30 years. His father owned many rooms in Kurar and Vasai. "Uday followed in his father's footsteps.
He began committing crimes at a very early age. He soon became a notorious local thug, who would terrorise innocent residents," said an officer from the Crime Branch unit 11, which is investigating the case.
The background check has also revealed that eight years ago, Pathak abducted a schoolteacher, who he later married. The couple has a six-year-old daughter.
Pathak had a gang of 15-20 men at his beck and call, which also committed various offenses at his behest. His cousin Abdul Sattar is caretaker for a well-established building firm in Mumbai. "Pathak used to work for Abdul, who often paid him to create an atmosphere of dread and fear among the locals," added officer.
Pathak would frequently intimidate, and thereafter extort money from owners of small-scale illegal establishments in the area, such as bars and video game parlours.
"Pathak inspired great terror in the hearts of the locals. He often assaulted people on slight pretexts, molested girls passing by. Nobody dared to lodge complaints against, as they were afraid of bearing the brunt later on," said Siraj Shaikh, a small time businessman at Kurar.
"Following the incident, Pathak as well as his family has been missing from their residence," said Jaywant Hergude, assistant commissioner of police (crime branch).