Four demolition notices from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) received by former corporator Razzak Khan in one day was the ‘trigger’ that allegedly led his son Amjad to gun down RTI activist Bhupendra Vira in October this year. Vira was believed to have registered the complaints with the civic body, leading to demolition notices to the Khans’ structures.
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This, according to investigators, is part of Amjad’s statement and will be included in the chargesheet that the police are likely to file in the case by next weekend. The police believe that Amjad’s statement, the ballistic report confirming that the bullets were fired from Amjad’s firearm and witness statements will help them file a watertight chargesheet.
Vira was shot dead on October 15 at his Vakola residence while he was watching TV. The police arrested Khan and his son Amjad for the murder. During their probe, the police found that Vira and the father-son duo were in a bitter fight over a property. Vira had started filing RTI applications to get documents regarding the property. Over time, he also started getting details about other alleged illegal properties owned by the father-son duo and started filing complaints with the civic body.
“Amjad told us that for nearly a month prior to the murder, his father looked stressed out. When he asked his father about his well being, his father told him he was so upset (with the RTI applications and complaints given by Vira) that he could hardly swallow a few morsels of food. He says his father had lost weight and hence he was furious with Vira. Then on October 15, when they actually received four notices from BMC to demolish structures within two days, failing which, the BMC would demolish it, Amjad decided to bump off Vira using the weapon he had,” an officer said.
While Amjad’s statement, unless recorded before a magistrate, does not count as evidence during trial, the police are confident about the evidence against the father-son duo. “We have the forensic report, which confirms that the bullet that killed Vira was fired from the firearm used by Amjad. We also have witnesses who saw Amjad near Vira’s house around the time when the latter was shot dead at his residence,” an officer linked to the probe said.
A senior officer confirmed that the chargesheet is almost ready and that by the next weekend they will be filing it. “Currently, the father-son duo are behind bars. While initially there was suspicion that the duo may have given a contract for the killing, later we found that it was Amjad himself who fired at Vira,” the senior officer added.