THE MUMBAI police, who arrested five persons for planning to bump off ‘matka queen’ Jaya Chheda and her sister Asha, are probing if Jaya’s brother Kiran, who operated the matka empire in her absence, was also a target. Kiran is believed to be outside the country and the police have received information that he too may have been on the radar of the accused persons.
On Tuesday the Mumbai police announced the arrest of Vinod Bhagat along with four others for plotting the murder of the sisters. Bhagar is the brother-in-law of Jaya who was behind bars for plotting the murder of her husband Suresh in 2008. Following his death, Jaya took over the matka business. However, she has been behind bars ever since her arrest in 2008.
An officer said, “With Jaya’s movements restricted as she was behind bars, her brother Kiran ran the matka business while her sister Asha maintained the accounts. Kiran is believed to be in an African country. Basheer Suleiman alias Mama, based in Manchester, who is named as a wanted accused for accepting the contract to bump off the sisters, has business interests in the same country.
“We have information that Suleiman had a network in the country where Kiran is believed to be located. We have heard about plans being made to kill Kiran as well but we are verifying the same with the accused persons,” an officer said.
The police believe that the information could be right since Kiran was the main person handling the matka business in Jaya’s absence. “If the motive was to get their matka business back from Jaya’s family, Kiran would be an important person to knock out of the way,” an officer linked to the case said.
The police are currently questioning the five persons who were remanded in police custody till December 28. While the five have so far not spilled the beans on the exact reason behind the murder, the police suspect it would be to get back their matka empire which was being run by Jaya. The police are also checking if it was only meant as a revenge killing but in that case the accused also targeting her sister does not add up, as per police.
The Mumbai police have also begun the process for approaching the UK authorities to get the custody of Suleiman who has been named as wanted accused in the case. As per police, after Jaya was released on bail earlier this year, Bhagat contacted Suleiman who then arranged for three persons.
The trio had conducted a recce of the marriage hall where Asha’s son was to get married on December 10 and had reached the venue but did not carry out the killing since the main sharpshooter did not turn up.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines