He used 8-kg cement block; deceased allegedly sought money to solve his martial problems via a rite
Officers from Mandvi police station and the killer Vinod Vasawat alias Kanda
A 33-year-old, who had been imprisoned since 2018 for smashing the head of a security guard at a mango orchard with a stone, has been re-arrested by Mandvi police in Virar East for killing an elderly man in a similar manner. This time, he allegedly used an eight-kg cement block.
During the pandemic, the killer, Vinod Vasawat alias Kanda, was released on parole from Thane Central Jail. The recent murder took place on the night of May 24 and the cops learnt about the incident by 10 am the next day. Under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ramchandra Deshmukh, three teams of police officers were formed to hunt for the killer. The deceased was identified as Bhiwa Vayda, 61, who would perform Jagran and other religious rituals in the village.
The police at the crime scene. Pics/Hanif Patel
“After Kanda got out of jail, he fell in love with a woman and got married around eight months ago. But when she learnt that he was a killer, she left him around three months ago. Since then, he had been trying to win her back,” said Praful Wagh, the in-charge of Mandvi police. “During the interrogation, the killer told us that he was desperate to get his wife back, so he contacted Vayda to perform some rituals to help him improve his conjugal life. Kanda told us that he gave Rs 2,000 in cash to Vayda to perform the rites,” Wagh said. “On the night of May 24, Kanda and the deceased drank alcohol together. Later, they walked towards a dam in Mandvi,” he added.
Sources told mid-day that after drinking together, the killer asked the deceased why his wife did not come back to him, and the latter reportedly demanded an additional R3,000 from the former. “Since the killer was already frustrated as his wife was not living with him, and the demand triggered him into killing Vayda,” said the source. Sub-Inspector, Sandip Sawant, said, “Both of them were inebriated at the time of the incident. They had a heated argument and in a fit of rage, the killer picked up a large cement block weighing 8 kg and hit Vayda on the face multiple times.”
After killing Vayda, the accused walked away from the crime scene. “In CCTV footage, a man could be seen going away from the crime scene. Though his face is not visible, his body language helped us track him down,” said a source. The large chunk of cement was found next to the body when the cops reached the crime spot for the panchnama the next morning. Based on the CCTV grabs, the investigating team launched a manhunt and eventually learnt about Kanda. Though the police team reached his house immediately, it was locked.
“During our investigation, we learnt that Kanda was arrested by the Virar police after he killed a security guard at a mango orchard in 2018. The killer’s house was hardly 100 metres away from the crime spot but he did not spend the night at home after the murder,” said Wagh. The killer had informed his mother that he killed Vayda; and fearing a police crackdown, she had also left the home on the night of May 24.
Kanda’s neighbours are scared of him as he has no remorse about taking human life, said Wagh. In a bid to escape arrest, the killer had gone to his friend’s place in Saphale to seek monetary help. But his friend did not lend him money. On the morning of May 26, he returned from Saphale in an auto-rickshaw. “After he got off the rickshaw at Sirsad phata (on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway), our police team nabbed him at 5.30 am,” said Wagh. Kanda has been sent to police remand till May 30. The cops are now checking if he had jumped parole.