Mumbai Crime: Minister, cop held for Ghatkopar businessman's murder
Fight over female friend is said to be reason for crime; television actor questioned in the case, cops refuse to reveal more details
The Pant Nagar police on Saturday arrested Sachin Pawar — a BJP member and former personal assistant to state cabinet minister for housing department Prakash Mehta — and a police constable, Dinesh Pawar, in connection with the murder of Ghatkopar-based diamond merchant Rajeshwar Udani. The motive for the murder, the police said, was a fight over a female friend of Sachin's.
According to the police, both the accused abducted Udani, and took him to Panvel in a car, where he was beaten and strangulated. The police are investigating if there are more people involved in the crime. Television actor Debolina Bhattacharya was also grilled for six hours in connection with the murder, but officers refused to divulge any information.
Udani, 57, a resident of Ghatkopar, had gone missing on November 28. During investigations, the police learnt that on the day he disappeared, he had left his car near the Vikhroli traffic chowkie around 9.45 pm, and had taken another white car that was waiting for him. After nearly a week-long search, the Panvel Taluka police found an unknown body, inside a car. "Family members of Udani, later identified the body as his on the basis of the clothes and slipper," an officer said.
Sachin's name cropped up during investigations. He had allegedly been in touch with Udani on the night he disappeared, and had gone to Guwahati soon after. During interrogation, the police found out that Dinesh, a constable with the Local Arms Unit, was the mastermind behind the crime. "Dinesh and Sachin are gym friends, and had some issues with Udani.
Primarily, there was some dispute over Udani's proximity with a female friend of Sachin's; and the latter had also warned Udani to stay away from her," said an officer from Pant Nagar. "When Udani didn't pay heed to these warnings, both decided to get rid of him. They asked him to meet them at Vikhroli traffic chowkie, and murdered him inside the car," added the officer. Both accused have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. The duo will be produced in court today.
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