The Mumbai police Crime Branch, which is investigating the murder of Navi Mumbai builder Sunilkumar Lohariya, has written to CIDCO seeking details of RTI applications filed by Lohariya and whether that information affected arrested accused Anurag Garg and five others who have been charged with conspiracy and not the actual execution of the crime.
Unlike most cases where only the crime has to be proven and not the motive, Crime Branch officers said it was necessary in this case to establish the involvement of Garg and the other arrested accused in the Navi Mumbai real estate industry in order to proving their motive. Lohariya was shot outside his office in Vashi on February 16, 2013.
The police have so far arrested retired police inspector Emmanuel Amolik and six others for the planning and execution of the crime, while Garg and five others have been charged for conspiracy under section 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code. Lohariya is reported to have named Garg and Suresh Bijlani as suspects before he succumbed to his injuries, while Bhupesh Gupta, SP Agarwal and Suresh’s brother Mahesh were named as suspects by Lohariya’s son Sandeep.
“We have ample evidence to prove that Amolik and his accomplices planned and executed the murder. However, in order to justify the charge of conspiracy against Garg and his associates, we need to establish a motive as to why they would have wanted to kill Lohariya. Inquiries so far indicate that Lohariya had filed numerous RTI applications through which he claimed to have unearthed FSI violations by Garg and the other accused, and the disputes between Lohariya and Garg stemmed from this. We have written to CIDCO asking for details of the information that Lohariya sought through RTI,” said a Crime Branch officer.
The officer added that proving the involvement of Garg and his associates was important because without it, they might walk free, leaving only Amolik and his accomplices to take the fall, which has been the original plan.
Amolik had earlier tried to take the entire blame for the murder, saying that he had killed Lohariya over a row that occurred between them in a parking lot in Navi Mumbai a month before the murder.
Call Data Records, however, had shown that Amolik was nowhere near the parking lot when this argument was supposed to have taken place. Lohariya’s son Sandeep confirmed his father had “uncovered” large-scale FSI violations on the part of Garg and his associates. “My father had filed an application before the Council of Architecture in New Delhi, asking that Garg’s architect’s licence be cancelled, and I believe this is what led to his murder. On Monday, I filed the same application once again before the Council,” Sandeep said.