Anurang Garg, the Navi Mumbai-based architect, who is the alleged chief accused in the murder of Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Lohariya, spent a year on the run by shuttling around the northern states, and living in dharamshalas and similar cheap accommodations in temples, to stay away from the police’s radar and evade arrest, said Mumbai Police Crime Branch officers.
Garg had surrendered before the Crime Branch at the Thane court on Friday. The police suspect that he had conspired with builder Suresh Bijlani and paid retired police inspector Emmanuel Amolik to kill Lohariya outside his Vashi office on February 16, 2013.
After the Supreme Court turned down his anticipatory bail application on May 3, Garg was ordered to surrender before the police. Earlier, a metropolitan magistrate in Vashi and the Bombay High Court had also rejected his bail pleas. With Garg in custody, Mahesh Bijlani, Suresh’s brother, is the only one among the main accused, who is still absconding.
“Garg would mostly stay in dharamshalas and temples like ISKCON in Delhi, where he could spend the night for Rs 200-300. He would keep moving from one location to another,” said a Crime Branch officer. Unlike Suresh Bijlani, who continued to move freely in Navi Mumbai, while evading arrest, on Friday was the first time that Garg was back in the city since the murder, said the officers.
The officer also added that Garg had left his cellphone at home before he fled. “Criminals these days know that they can be caught if they use a cellphone. We will probe if he used another handset and SIM card, while he was in Delhi,” officers said.
After taking Garg into custody, the Crime Branch went to his residence in Vashi to conduct a search on Saturday. “On Saturday, we only got a medical check, photograph and thumb impressions of Garg done. In the afternoon, our officers took Garg to Vashi, where a panchanama of his residence and office were conducted. Interrogation will begin on Monday,” the officers said.
The Crime Branch officers also said that Garg was careful not to contact any of his relatives, while he was in Delhi. “We are yet
to probe how many of his relatives or friends live in Delhi. But, he did not live with them because he did not want them to get into any trouble,”added the officers.