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Sleuths of the Kasarvadavali police have arrested five persons for mounting a violent assault on a 60-year-old auto-rickshaw driver on the Thane-Ghodbunder road near Kashimira.

Although the assailants attempted to cover-up the crime as a violent robbery, it emerged that the attack was the fallout of a land dispute between the victim Kailaspati Paasi and the prime accused who has been identified as Abhishek Saroj. Both were locked in a dispute over land at their native village in Uttar Pradesh.

According to the police, Paasi’s auto was apparently hired by the assailants who took him to a secluded area near Nagla Bunder creek. Other bike-borne assailants who were apparently following the auto-rickshaw picked up a quarrel with Paasi and assaulted him with bamboo sticks and fled, leaving him in a badly injured state.

In an attempt to cover up the attack as an act of robbery, the quartet snatched cash amounting Rs 1200 from the auto driver. Upon receiving the complaint a special team from the detection unit headed by API Sagar Jadhav under the supervision of Senior Police Inspector Kishore Khairnar apprehended the quartet-Abhishek Saroj, Abhishek Singh, Vikas Sahani, Chandresh Maurya and Rupali Chauhan, on the virtue of a specific tip-off from informants about their anticipated arrival in the Kalwa-Titwala area.

“Initially we thought the crime to be a handiwork of highway robbers, but it turned out to be an act of revenge planned by Saroj to settle scores with Paasi due to an ongoing property dispute,” said an investigating officer.

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