Mumbai: Man who taught police planned Shiv Sena leader's murder

Jan 13, 2018, 08:32 IST | Samiullah Khan

Prime accused Anil Waghmare was a Maharashtra Public Service Commission tutor; investigators believe that business rivalry between the duo could be the reason behind the gruesome murder

Ashok Sawant was stabbed to death near his home in Kandivli
Ashok Sawant was stabbed to death near his home in Kandivli

He was a teacher to police personnel, but turned into a murderous mastermind to teach his frenemy, former Shiv Sena corporator Ashok Sawant, a lesson. Three days after Sawant was stabbed near his home in Kandivli, the police arrested a private tutor from Pune, Anil Waghmare, 43, for plotting the assassination. Investigators suspect that the murder was a result of a long enmity between Waghmare and Sawant over construction projects.

Ashok Sawant was a former two-time corporator from Samata Nagar, Kandivli
Ashok Sawant was a former two-time corporator from Samata Nagar, Kandivli

During investigations, it was revealed that the accused, Anil Waghmare, was not present on the spot when Ashok Sawant was murdered, but he was the mastermind of the crime. Waghmare was arrested from Byculla late on Thursday night, he was produced before the Borivali court today and remanded to police custody till January 18.

Anil Waghmare has tutored cops on how to crack MPSC exams
Anil Waghmare has tutored cops on how to crack MPSC exams

Sources revealed that Waghmare tutors students for the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exams. He would organise lectures in Pune and Mumbai, and one of his recent sessions in Ghatkopar was attended by policemen from Ghatkopar and Pant Nagar police station.

Sawant was killed near his home in Kandivli
Sawant was killed near his home in Kandivli

Friends fall out
Investigations have also revealed that Waghmare and Sawant were once close, but their friendship turned sour over construction projects. Waghmare was an RTI activist, and frequently filed RTI queries about real estate projects. When this resulted in the construction work getting stalled, Sawant would promise to support the builders with his clout. This created a rift between the two friends, and Waghmare began harassing Sawant by filing RTI applications against any project that the latter had invested in.

In a recent case, Waghmare filed an RTI query about a school run by Sawant - Samata Vidya Mandir in Kandivli East. The RTI application exposed the fact that the school premises were encroaching on an adjoining MHADA plot. Once this came to light, MHADA reclaimed its land. But this was not enough for Waghmare, who allegedly decided to teach Sawant a lesson once and for all.

Harbouring the fugitives
Waghmare was arrested along with his associate, Vishal Gaikwad, 32. Investigations revealed that after Sawant's murder, Jagga called Waghmare to inform him that the mission had been accomplished and that he would have to flee the city. Gaikwad gave shelter to the killers, as one of them - Mane - is his cousin. They stayed at Gaikwad's house for a night. The next morning, the accused fled with Gaikwad in tow, fearing that the police would go after him for information. So far, the Samata Nagar police have arrested five in the case, including Sohail Dedhia, 30; Ganesh Jokdand, 33; and one minor accused. Two others - Abhishek Mane and Jagdish aka Jagga - are still at large.

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