Ex-encounter cop planned builder’s murder
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan l @pranabbhuyan, DNA
Vashi: A retired state police encounter specialist and a shooter were arrested between Saturday late night and Sunday morning in connection with the murder of Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Kumar Loharia.
Two men on a motorcycle had gunned down the 50-year-old builder in front of his office in Vashi’s sector 28 on Saturday morning, moments after he got off his white BMW. Local people had caught one of the shooters, Venkatesh Shettiyer, 35, from the spot while the other, Wazid Qureshi, 28, managed to flee.
Qureshi was arrested from his home in Mumbra. And Emmanuel Amolik, the 62-year-old retired police officer, was arrested from Naigaon in Dadar late on Saturday night. Police said Amolik had paid a “supari” to Qureshi and Shettiyer to kill Loharia.
Navi Mumbai police commissioner AK Sharma said Shettiyer had spilled the beans during interrogation. “We arrested both based on what he told us. Investigations are on to find out if someone else is involved,” he said.
Amolik, an encounter specialist with the Maharashtra police, served at Thane, Solapur, Nagpur, and Mumbai before retiring as an inspector in 2011. He was an inspector in Navi Mumbai in 2004 and the CID had arrested him in 2003 in connection with a fake encounter.
“Qureshi has several cases registered against him in Mumbai,” Sharma said. “Qureshi and Amolik know each other for the past several years.”
All three have been booked. A Belapur court on Sunday sent Shettiyer and Amolik to police custody till February 22. Qureshi will be produced in court on Monday.
Additional commissioner Fateh Singh Patel said Amolik told them that he had a fight with Loharia more than a month ago over parking at Sanpada’s Moraj Circle on Palm Beach Road.
“He told us that Loharia had flashed his gun and threatened to kill him. He said he wanted to avenge his insult,” the officer said. “In fact, Amolik told us that he would have killed Loharia that same day if he had a gun. We are trying to find out how much he paid Qureshi and Shettiyer.”
Another officer from the Vashi police station said Shettiyer had told them on Saturday that they killed Lohariya over some property dispute in Kharghar. “After Qureshi and Amolik were arrested he, however, told us that he lied to mislead the investigators. We are questioning many people and trying to find out the real reason behind the murder.”
Loharia’s family conducted his last rites on Sunday evening. One of the family members said they were unhappy with the way the police were investigating the matter. Loharia’s son Sunny Kumar said the crime branch of the Mumbai police should investigate. He has written a letter to the chief minister as well, he said.
“We have given the names of a couple of builders and architects who we feel could be involved,” he said. “On Saturday, I got a call on my mobile phone asking me not to name a particular builder. I have told this to the police, but they seem very casual about it.”
Published Date: Feb 18, 2013