The Crime Branch of Pune City Police on Friday arrested Sushil Mancharkar (50), the former president of the Pimpri Chinchwad Bar Association, and two others for allegedly conspiring to murder former Congress corporator Kailas Kadam. Mancharkar also arranged the escape of three undertrials on April 10, while they were being brought back to Pune from Satara district after a court appearance, said police.
According to police, the lawyer offered the trio Rs 30 lakh for killing Kadam, with whom Mancharkar had a dispute during a meeting in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in 2015. Along with Mancharkar, the Crime Branch also arrested Suresh Swaminathan Zende (29), and Raju alias Kalya Mahadev Patre (32). Mancharkar, Zende and Patre were remanded to police custody till September 19.
On April 10, Raju Mahadev Patre alias Kalya, Santosh Macchindra Jagtap and Santosh Chandilkar alias Lubhya — lodged in Yerwada Prison — were taken to Khandala court, in Satara, in a police van .
After the hearing, the police team left for Pune in the van at 5.30 pm. When the van reached Katraj Ghat at 7.30 pm, the three accused said they had to “answer nature’s call”, and the policemen escorted them outside. Suddenly, the three men pushed the policemen, taking them by surprise, and ran into the nearby forest The five police guards on duty were suspended.
Acting on a tip-off, a Crime Branch team led by Inspector Rajendra Todkar nabbed Patre from his residence in Chinchwad on Thursday. During questioning, he said Zende helped him escape from police custody, and the latter was subsequently arrested. Police said the duo revealed Mancharkar’s role in arranging the escape of the undertrials, and the lawyer was arrested from his residence in Nehru Nagar, Pimpri, on Friday.