The secretary of Pune Bar Association (PBA), Ghanshyam Popat Darade, has been arrested by Pune City Police in connection with the murder of lawyer Umesh Chandrashekhar More.
Darade, an advocate who has been practising in Shivajinagar court, allegedly helped the other accused kidnap More.
Police had earlier arrested three persons, including lawyer Rohit Dattatraya Shende, Kapil Vilas Phalke and Deepak Shivaji Vandekar in connection with the case.
A resident of Dhankawadi area, More used to practice in the Shivajinagar court. According to his family, he had gone to court as usual on October 1, but did not return home that day. His family had initially lodged a missing report with police.
Later, based on a complaint filed by his brother Prashant More, an offence of kidnapping under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was lodged at the Shivajinagar police station. Police later invoked sections 302, 201 and 120 (b) of IPC against the accused.
Members of PBA had also held a meeting with Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta, seeking proper investigation in the case.
Police went through leads obtained from CCTV camera footage, and arrested the three accused. One of them, Shende, was also an accused in a high-profile bribery case registered with the Bund garden police station in 2018. More was a complainant in the bribery case, which was linked to a land deal litigation.
Police suspect that following an earlier dispute, Shende and the two other accused, Phalke and Vandekar, allegedly kidnapped More and then murdered him.
After questioning the arrested accused and technical investigation, it was revealed that Darade allegedly helped the trio carry out the kidnapping by telling them More’s location.
Darade was arrested and produced before a court, which remanded him in police custody till October 31 for further investigation.
Police said the accused kidnapped More from a spot near Shivajinagar court in a car around 3 pm on October 1. They allegedly took More to a farmhouse in Mulshi, where they strangulated him to death. They later burnt More’s body after pouring petrol on it, in a bid to destroy evidence, said police.
More’s body was later recovered from Tamhini Ghat area.
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