Main accused in Ghatkopar birthday murder held

The Pant Nagar police on Tuesday arrested the main accused wanted in connection with the murder of 32-year-old Nitesh Sawant, who was allegedly beaten and stabbed to death in Ghatkopar (East) on Sunday night.

Sawant, a resident of the Gaurishankar Wadi area, was celebrating his birthday when seven people attacked him around 9.20 p.m. on Sunday.

He was rushed to Rajawadi Hospital where he was declared dead before admission, and six people were arrested in connection with the case on Monday.

Arjun Kende, with whom Sawant had an argument last week, which reportedly led to the murder, fled the city immediately after the incident, the police said.

Police inspector Pratap Bhosale, Pant Nagar police station, said a team was sent to Mr. Kende’s native place, Khed, after the police received a tip-off that he had fled there. “Mr. Kende left before our team could reach his residence, and we learned that he had taken a State Transport bus back to the city. We kept tracking his movements and ultimately picked him up from Chembur around 2 a.m. on Tuesday,” he said.

Mr. Bhosle said preliminary questioning confirmed that the murder stemmed from the argument that Mr. Kende had with Sawant five days before the incident.

“Both the deceased and the accused were under the influence of alcohol when the argument occurred. On Sunday night, too, Mr. Kende was consuming liquor with the other accused when the subject of the argument came up. The accused decided to teach Sawant a lesson and set out looking for him, which ultimately led to the crime,” another official said.

The accused have been charged with murder, rioting and unlawful assembly under the Indian Penal Code, along with relevant sections of the Maharashtra Police Act. The police are now trying to find out if any more people were involved.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 2:17:12 AM |

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