An auto-rickshaw driver from Pune and his two accomplices have been arrested for allegedly making a businessman from Navi Mumbai drink excess alcohol and robbing him of Rs 4 lakh. The businessman, Rajesh Liladhar Mhatre (46), was dumped in an unconscious state at a deserted spot in Pune on the intervening night of November 26 and 27 last year.
Mhatre was found near Lingayat crematorium on Burning Ghat Road in Koregaon Park on the morning of November 28. A police team took him to Sassoon hospital, where he was declared dead.
The auto driver, Shadaf Jahangir Bangi (28), is a resident of Yerwada.
Initial investigation revealed that Mhatre had taken a bus to Pune on November 26. Around 7.15 pm that day, he took an auto-rickshaw from Swargate bus depot to go to Budhwar Peth. The auto driver, Bange, realised that Mhatre was drunk and was also carrying a bundle of money.
Instead of taking him to Budhwar Peth, Bange allegedly took Mhatre to Burning Ghat Road, and called two of his aides to the spot. Bange and his aides made Mhatre drink more alcohol and then robbed him of Rs 4 lakh in cash, said police. They then took Mhatre to a deserted place on the Mula-Mutha river bed, near Lingayat crematorium, and dumped him in the bushes.
Police suspect that Mhatre died at the spot from an alcohol overdose in the cold weather.
Police have lodged a first information report (FIR) in the case and arrested Bangi under sections 304, 392, 34 (pertaining to culpable homicide, murder) of the Indian Penal Code. Search is on for his two accomplices.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines