Mumbai

Accused in 2011 Shirdi double murder case held in Mumbai

Prakash Avsarka  

An accused wanted for the infamous Shirdi double murders of 2011 was arrested in Mumbai on Sunday. Prakash Avsarkar (32), who had fled after getting bail, had taken to stealing and robbing commuters at railway stations.

In June 2011, two young men Praveen Gondkar and Rachit Patni, were abducted for ransom, tortured to death by a local gang, and their bodies dumped in front of a hotel. The Shirdi police arrested 23 people in connection with the murders, including Mr. Avsarkar who managed to secure bail the same year and fled the city. He was wanted by the police since then. Twelve others were convicted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act in 2018.

According to Crime Branch officers, police constable Subhash Naik with the Crime Branch Unit VII got a tip-off on Sunday saying a man staying in Vikhroli was wanted in the Shirdi double murder case.

“We sent a team to the location specified by the informant while also gathering information on the accused still wanted in the case. Avsarkar was identified and picked up for inquiries, after which he confessed to his involvement in the double murder,” a Crime Branch officer said.

The officer said Mr. Avsarkar had become part of a gang that would target travellers of long distance late night trains departing from major railway stations.

“A large number of people gather at these railway stations well before the trains depart and many of them spend the night on the platforms. Avsarkar and his gang members would target such people, steal their cell phones or whatever valuables they could lay their hands on, sometimes forcibly if the conditions were favourable,” the officer said.

“We have handed Avsarkar over to the GRP and also informed the Shirdi police about his arrest. He has reportedly confessed to at least 100 such offences, mainly at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. Some of his fellow gang members have already been arrested by the GRP. ” the officer added.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 6:59:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/accused-in-2011-shirdi-double-murder-case-held-in-mumbai/article30562613.ece

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