MORE THAN five years after a village sarpanch from Uttar Pradesh allegedly managed to pass off the murder of his business partner as an accident, the Mumbai crime branch on Thursday arrested two persons in connection with the incident. A police team is on its way to UP to arrest the sarpanch, who as per the crime branch, had ordered the hit due to his political rivalry with the deceased.
Those arrested have been identified as Amol Padova (36) and Saifuddin Qureshi (45).
The police said it was the refusal to pay the promised Rs 30,000 by one of the accused to the other for the hit job that blew the lid off the almost perfect murder.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Dilip Sawant said that on January 14, 2014, a hit-and-run accident took place in the Wadala area. A tanker ran over a cyclist identified as Iqbal Khan (40), who supplied raw material to bakeries in the eastern suburb.
A case of causing death due to negligence was registered against unidentified persons. The tanker driver was never tracked down. There was no development in the case until a few days back when Amol Padova, the alleged tanker driver, who, after having a few drinks, complained about how he was yet to receive Rs 30,000 for a murder he committed in 2014, a police officer said.
The information reached crime branch unit 3, and Padova was called in for questioning. During the course of interrogation, Padova told the police that he was referring to a cyclist he had deliberately run over for Rs 40,000, of which he had just received Rs 10,000.
He led the police to his employer Saifuddin Qureshi, who he alleged was the one who promised him the money. “During interrogation, Qureshi too confessed that he had been asked for someone who could run over the deceased. He then revealed the name of the deceased’s business partner who wanted Khan eliminated,” Inspector Sanjay Nikumbe said.
During investigation, the crime branch found that while Khan and the main accused were business partners in the city, they were political rivals at their village in Hardoi district of UP. “The main accused, who wanted to be elected sarpanch in their village, had lost the polls in 2014. He believed that it was due to Khan that he lost and swore revenge. He also had to pay around Rs 10 lakh to Khan. Hence, he decided to get rid of Khan and approached Qureshi, a owner of several tankers from Mahim, who was known to him,” Nikumbe said.