History-sheeter arrested in Ulwe murder case

Caught on camera: Police escort Ashok Kumar Murugan Konar to Panvel court on Thursday.

Caught on camera: Police escort Ashok Kumar Murugan Konar to Panvel court on Thursday.  

Accused claims to have killed woman for resisting robbery attempt; police investigate other angles

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras installed at Zone II in Navi Mumbai, helped the police crack the murder of a 55-year-old woman who was abducted in her own car and killed in Ulwe on Monday.

Ashok Kumar Murugan Konar (40), a history-sheeter was arrested from Kharghar late on Wednesday. Despite the police ruling out robbery as the motive, he has claimed otherwise. Mr. Konar, who has four other cases registered against him, hails from Tamil Nadu and lives with his two wives at Nerul and Ulwe.

According to the police, he was caught on camera waiting in another car for some time before he approached the victim, Prabhavati Bhagat. Mr. Konar told her that he wanted to park his vehicle there and volunteered to move Bhagat’s car when she told him that she couldn’t drive. Instead, he took the car 600-m from where it was parked, shot the victim and fled. “The car he was in was stolen from Vashi. We found one pistol, two magazine and nine live cartridges in his possession. According to his wife from Ulwe, he recently got the fire arm. We are investigating where he got it from,” an officer privy to the investigation said.

To get to the accused, the police backtracked CCTV camera footage of his movements and obtained the vehicle’s registration number. “The vehicle number was duplicate, hence, the person we traced initially turned out to be the owner of the vehicle with the original registration. Thus, we informed the command centre,” the officer said.

He said APNR cameras installed in Zone II captured the vehicles registration number and set off an alarm, alerting the control centre. The camera footage captured Mr. Konar’s vehicles movement at the RAF camp in Taloja and seven vehicles of the police were mobilised, and the accused was held at Vikas Bhavan chowk in Kharghar. While the accused has claimed that he killed Bhagat because she resisted his attempt to rob her, the police and the victim’s family have their doubts.

“On the day of incident, when we saw her body, nothing was missing. Her chain and mangalsutra were on her and the jewellery in her bag was also untouched,” Bhagat’s son, Suraj, said. He said there was confusion about her earrings, which the police claimed to have found a part of in the car. “We are inquiring if there is any other angle to the crime,” the officer said.

Mr. Konar has been charged under sections of murder and kidnapping of the Indian Penal Code, and provisions of the Arms Act and the Mumbai Police Act. He was produced before the Panvel court and has been remanded in police custody till March 9.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 1:38:33 AM |

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