Mumbai Hoarding Collapse: Despite Pulling Out All Stops, Cops Yet To Nab Owner Of Killer Hoarding

Mumbai Hoarding Collapse: Despite Pulling Out All Stops, Cops Yet To Nab Owner Of Killer Hoarding

The police went all the way to Lonavala, where Bhavesh Bhinde, owns a posh resort, but didn't get him.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Thursday, May 16, 2024, 12:38 AM IST
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Left To Right Mumbai Police, Bhavesh Bhide (Representative Image) | Representative Image

Despite pulling out all stops to nab Bhavesh Prabhudas Bhinde, owner of Ego Media Pvt Ltd whose killer hoarding claimed 14 lives, the Mumbai police is yet to taste success. In his search, the cops also went all the way to Lonavala, where the 51-year-old businessman owns a posh resort, but didn't get him. Bhinde, who recently joined the Shiv Sena (UBT), is believed to be well-networked with the bureaucracy which helped him expand his hoarding business.

The illegal massive hoarding fell on the BPCL's petrol outlet on the Eastern Express Highway, Ghatkopar (E), on Monday resulting in several persons being crushed, while leaving many seriously injured. After the crash, the Pant Nagar police registered a case against Bhinde following the BMC's complaint on Monday. Next day, police teams were sent to his office and home locations – both in Mulund – but were greeted with locked doors. On Tuesday night later, the Crime Branch joined the Pant Nagar police investigating team.

“Bhinde has three mobile numbers which we were constantly tracing; of three, only one was on. As per his location, he moved from Mumbai to Lonavala via road. We learned that he has a resort in Lonavala and hence a couple of teams were sent there,” said a police official. He continued, “When our team reached there, he was not there. We learnt that he moved out two hours before we reached the spot."

The police team returned to Ghatkopar on Wednesday early morning as they were needed for bandobast duty in regards to Narendra Modi’s roadshow rally. Now, as per the new plan, a set of teams of police and Crime Branch will be sent to Gujarat to locate Bhinde, said police sources. They also added that Bhinde's one number has been traced, which he is allegedly using to communicate with his family, relatives and friends. “As per his movements, Bhinde moved from Lonavala via Nashik and entered Gujarat,” said the source. Meanwhile, police have informed their intel in and around Gujarat to keep an eye on his movements along with the local police.

Five teams have been actively looking for Bhinde, while the technical team is assisting the investigating team with call data records (CDR) and location. The businessman, who has been fined 21 times under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act for illegal hoardings, has a rape case registered against him with the Mulund police in January. He also contested as an independent candidate in the 2009 Assembly polls from Mulund, and lost.

In the fresh FIR by the Pant Nagar police, Bhinde and his company have been booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering personal safety of others), 337 (causes hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. 

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