POLICE ARE on the trail of a second accused in connection with the murder of a 65-year-old share trader at his residence in Kandivali West earlier this week. The Kandivali police had arrested 24-year-old Nikunj Polara on Friday after scanning a CCTV footage from the building.
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Investigators believe that the murder was committed in the course of a robbery. While the accused were to hand over gold in exchange for cash from Devendra Jayantilal Doshi, the two accused decided to rob the victim instead, said police.
The second accused, believed to be around 55 years old, is allegedly a friend of Polara’s father and knew the victim, said police.
Police have not revealed the name of the second accused to avoid alerting him.
“The second accused had hatched the plan to murder the victim and rob him. He roped in Nikunj as an accomplice. He had known the victim since 2011 and had worked as a masseur for him. The victim had hired him through his son,” said Mukund Pawar, senior police inspector at Kandivali police station, adding that they got the information on interrogating Polara.
According to the police, this wanted accused had also worked as a contractor on farms and was previously accused of cheating farm owners and labourers. On December 10, the day the exchange was supposed to take place at Doshi’s flat, the two accused were captured by the CCTV entering the building at around 2 pm. They were seen leaving after three-and-a-half hours and then reentering the premises around 6.30 pm, said the police.
“A witness, who was at the victim’s flat before the incident, saw the two when they came to meet Doshi in the evening. He then left when Doshi said they were there for some business. Upon interrogation, Polara had revealed that he sat in the hall while the wanted accused talked to the victim in his bedroom. When they came out, Polara hit Doshi on his head with a hammer and proceeded to slit his throat,” the senior inspector said.
The two accused made away with three cellphones, and an unknown amount of cash in bundles of Rs 2,000, Rs 100 and Rs 50 notes, along with some gold coins. Polara had revealed that they destroyed the cellphones, but the money and the gold was still in the possession of the wanted accused. A knife, believed to be the murder weapon, was found at the victim’s flat. Police are still looking for the hammer.
Through CCTV images, residents of the building were able identify one of the accused as the victim’s masseur who had been frequenting the building over the last three to four years.
A case has been registered against the two under Sections 302 (punishment for murder), 397 (robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) under the Indian Penal Code. Polara has been sent to police custody till December 26, while two teams have been formed to trace other man.