A BJP worker from Bhandup was allegedly stabbed to death at his residence Monday by a contractor from the same area,with whom the deceased had been having frequent tiffs over various issues for the last few years. Accused Baban Khopde (52),who had fled following the murder,was arrested from a nearby area a few hours later.
According to Bhandup police,the victim,Vasant Patil (55),stayed with his wife in Rawte Compound in Bhandup (west) and was a local ward president for BJP.
Khopde staked out the Patil residence since early morning. The minute he saw Patils wife leave the house to go to the common toilet in the locality,he made his move. He entered the house,stabbed Patil 28 times and fled. However,a few residents saw him fleeing, said senior inspector Shrirang Nadgauda.
Patil was rushed to Rajawadi hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Meanwhile,police fanned out in the Rawte compound and nearby areas. Khopde was found hiding in a house in a nearby residential compound around 12.30 pm.
Patil would object to construction projects undertaken by Khopde and the latter would retaliate. They were also members of different Ganeshotsav mandals and would have tiffs regarding various issues. A few days ago,the duo had another heated argument over a petty matter. Khopde said Patil spat on him,after which he decided to exact revenge, said Nadgauda.
Additional Commissioner of Police (East region) Quaiser Khaleed said a molestation case had been registered against Patil in the past,and a chargesheet was recently filed.
The issue was raised in the Assembly Monday,with state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis making a scathing attack against the law and order situation in the state The BJP worker was brutally killed because he had sought information through RTI. He had told the police about the threats he was receiving. Yet,the police did not act, Fadnavis said.
However,home minister R R Patil said,Primary reports indicate that death of BJP ward leader was an outcome of personal rivalry. Police indicated that there was no issue related to RTI. I am still getting the details. Once the facts are ascertained,I will be able to give a clear picture.
Khaleed and Nadgauda denied that Patil was an RTI activist.