Bizarre killing: Drunk mango thieves stone farm's guard to death for fear of being caught
Police arrest four people for the murder of 65-year-old man guarding a Palghar farm
The four accused held for the murder. Pic/Hanif Patel
Guarding the king of fruits proved to be very costly for a 65-year-old, who paid for it with his life. The Virar police have arrested four people from Palghar district for murdering Paltu Rajbhar, who had been hired a month back, to guard the mango trees at Laxmi Farm House at Usgaon in Bhatane.
Police said in the one month, Rajbhar had befriended several people of the village, along with the four accused, Vinod Baswant, 28, Vilas Jadhav, 20, Rajesh Baswant, 43, and Santosh Padwale, 33. They all live close to the farm, and are daily wage labourers. They often met Rajbhar over a cup of tea.
Stoned to death
On the night of March 29, the four accused reached the farm in a drunken state. A police source said they started pelting stones at the trees to steal mangoes, but Rajbhar caught them. He identified Vinod when he pointed his torch at him. Scared of getting caught, they started pelting stones at Rajbhar, who soon fell down unconscious. Police said the accused then crushed his head with a big stone, instantly killing him. They then wrapped his body in a cloth and mat, and threw it near a river by the farm. They then fled.
Jayant Bhajbale, Sub-divisional police officer, said the day after the incident when Arvind Patil, the owner of the farm arrived, he found the door of Rajbhar's house broken. He checked inside but found everything intact, nothing was stolen. "He then looked for Rajbhar on the farm but he was nowhere to be seen. He then went to Rajbhar's relative's house and inquired about him, but they were also clueless. On the evening of March 30, Patil filed a missing complaint with Virar police," said Bhajbale.
Rajbhar's family too was worried and started looking for him after Patil met them. They inquired with several people. While searching the locality, they found a decomposed body lying near the river. They immediately informed the Virar police who registered an FIR for murder.
In the subsequent investigation, police learnt about the four accused who had gone missing since the incident. On April 7, after getting a tip-off that they were back, the police arrested them from their houses. "All were booked under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 34 (common intention) of IPC. They were produced before court and remanded in police custody," said Bhajbale.
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