Updated: January 19, 2022 9:09:25 am
In an act of revenge that took over two years, a doctor with a government hospital in Yavatmal – 650 km from Mumbai – was shot dead, allegedly by a family member of his patient who had died under the doctor’s supervision two years ago.
Family members of the patient had alleged that it was due to the negligence of Dr Hanumant Dharmakare, medical officer at the R P Uttarwar Kutir Hospital, that their son Arbaz (20), who had met with a bike accident, died in May 2019.
The police are on the lookout for the main suspect, Aifaz Shaikh, the elder brother of Arbaz, who is believed to have shot the doctor.
On January 11, Dharmakare was shot dead in broad daylight by an unidentified person on the Umarkhed – Pusad Road in Yavatmal. Several teams of Yavatmal Police were formed to investigate the killing. The fact that prime facie there was no motive for anyone to murder Dharmakare made the job of solving the case more difficult.
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Yavatmal Superintendent of Police, Dilip Bhujbal, said that some of the CCTV cameras, located near the area where Dharmakare was shot dead, had captured a biker who fled from the spot after the incident. “However, the biker was going at such a high speed that we could hardly get a good-quality image. He covered a distance of 20 km in 12 minutes, from Umerkhed to Dhanki. After Dhanki, we could not find out where he had fled to,” Bhujbal told The Indian Express.
In the absence of any obvious motive and lack of leads, the police started going through vehicles and houses around the scene of the crime. “Our team observed that two local residents, Sayyad Tousif and Sayyad Mushtaq ,would follow police vehicles every time they went out to conduct searches. We suspected something was amiss and detained the duo,” said Bhujbal.
He said that during subsequent questioning, the police team found that Tousif had, in 2019. given an application to the local police against Dharmakare. The police team found that the application concerned the death of his nephew Arbaz.
When the police questioned Tousif further, they found that his nephew Arbaz had met with an accident on May 4, 2019. Arbaz had been riding a bike with his brother Aifaz (then 22) and a relative Moshin, when the accident took place.
The family had rushed the trio to the local hospital, where Dharmakare was the on-duty doctor. The family alleged that due to negligence on the part of the doctor, Arbaaz lost his life. The family even had a fight with Dharmakare and they allegedly threatened that he would have to pay for his actions.
Bhujbal said that during the police investigation, they found that for the past two years, the family had been looking for an opportunity to get back at Dharmakare. They had kept an eye on his movements even earlier this year, following which they decided to allegedly kill him last Tuesday. It was Arbaz’s elder brother Aifaz who allegedly fired at the doctor and fled from the spot on the bike.
Investigation revealed that after driving at high speed, Aifaz reached Dhanki, where Tousif and three other relatives had a blue getaway vehicle ready for him. The police found the blue vehicle in CCTV footage from Dhanki. Police said they have also traced the bike used by the suspect to flee from the spot.
“We have arrested four persons in the case, who are currently in police custody till January 23. But Aifaz is still on the run and we should be able to arrest him,” said Bhujbal.
An officer linked to the probe claimed that when the police team went to conduct a search at Aifaz’s residence, a family member said that since the past year, they had felt the bojh (burden) of Arbaz’s death, which they felt they had to avenge.
The police, however, said that they are still awaiting the arrest of Aifaz, whose interrogation will help them get more clarity on other details like the source from where the firearm was procured and if there was any other motive behind the killing.
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