Before allegedly hiring hitmen to kill NDMC legal adviser MM Khan, Ramesh Kakkar, the owner of The Connaught hotel, “offered a bribe of Rs 3 crore” to the lawyer even approached his relatives to pressure him, sources close to the investigation said Thursday.
Kakkar is among seven arrested for the murder of Khan. Unwilling to pay dues of more than Rs 140 crore to the NDMC in licensing fees, Kakkar allegedly tried to “influence” Khan by approaching his senior officers and even his relatives in Mumbai, but Khan did not succumb to pressure to take the money and favour the hotelier, said police sources.
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Kakkar reportedly sent his subordinates to NDMC office and asked for a meeting with the civic body’s vice-chairman Karan Singh Tanwar, said sources. Incidentally, 10 days before Khan was shot, Tanwar had written to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung demanding his replacement, alleging his “illegal” and “biased” handling of a case was causing loss to the civic body.
On Wednesday, Tanwar had told The Indian Express that two people from The Connaught hotel came to meet him in his office and they alleged that “estate officer Khan is not conducting a fair investigation and is biased”.
“Without conducting any internal inquiry and discussing the matter with Khan, I had written to L-G, asking him to remove this official and appoint another only on the basis of their verbal complaint,” he added. Tanwar said that no one from the hotel concerned knew him personally and he had never visited the hotel. Khan was shot a day before he was scheduled to pass the final order on the hotel lease terms.