The murder case of RTI activist Bhupendra Vira, known for his battle against land mafia and encroachers, was on Tuesday handed over to the Crime Branch from Vakola police station, an official said. “The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch,” a police official told PTI. The 72-year-old activist, who had exposed encroachers and unauthorised constructions in and around Kalina in the city, was shot dead at point blank range on Saturday night when he was watching TV at his residence in suburban Santacruz. Police had on Monday arrested former corporator in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Razzaq Khan (78), and his son, Amjad Khan (53), in connection with the murder. The duo was arrested after Vira’s family members gave their names in the complaint.
Razzaq, an ex-corporator of Congress from Santacruz, had got an order from Lokayukta for demolishing four illegal properties in the area on Vira’s complaint, hours before the activist’s murder, sources had said. The murder of the elderly activist has sparked strong reactions from anti-graft campaigners, saying that Maharashtra has become a dangerous place for whistle-blowers with as many as eleven activists having been killed in the state in the last ten years. Maharashtra Chief Information Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad on Monday asked the authorities to ensure a thorough probe into the murder case and make public the information sought by the activist