Pune: Chain smoker murders armyman for refusing to give him matchstick, arrested

Feb 13, 2018, 09:10 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

The crazed smoker bashed the 65-year-old's head in with a cement block

Representational picture
Representational picture

A 65-year-old former Army Captain who refused to give up his matchstick ended up sparking the murderous rage of a chain smoker, who bashed his head in with a cement block. Ravindrakumar Bali retired from the Indian Army as a Captain, and had seen a streak of bad luck since then. Due to quarrels with his wife, he was reduced to living on the footpath behind Wonderland at Pune Camp. His lifeless body was found at the same spot on February 1.

Also read: Youth jailed for life for murdering man for cigarette

Nearly two weeks later, the Bund Garden police and Crime Branch Unit III yesterday arrested Robinson Anthony Lazarus (also known as Robin), 21, a resident of Tarapur Road in Camp. Senior inspector Sitaram More said, "Lazarus confessed to committing the crime around midnight on January 31. He and his friend Kunal More had just spent the night drinking at Parvati Hill and were jonesing for a smoke. They searched desperately for a paan shop to buy the matches, but did not find a single shop open. Then the accused noticed Bali sitting on the footpath with a matchstick in his hand. Lazarus demanded Bali to hand over the matchstick, but he refused. Incensed, Lazarus started hitting Bali's head with a cement block."

The officer added, "The CCTV footage showed Lazarus and More running from the scene while Bali's body lay in a pool of blood. We identified Lazaras from the CCTV footage, but when we went to his house, we found he had already escaped." Lazarus hails from Taloja in Panvel taluka, and that was where he went while he was in hiding, working at a Chinese food stall in Panvel. Further investigation also revealed that Lazarus had a criminal history and had been arrested for stealing luxury cars and bikes, as well as petrol.

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