Panvel Taluka police on Monday arrested three persons for allegedly murdering a 35-year-old man as he was asking for money that he had given one of them to get a girl for his marriage. Instead of returning the money, the accused hatched a plan along with his two friends and killed him.
Police said that they also poured petrol on the face of the deceased and burnt it to destroy the identity and evidence. The body was found in a bush in Maldonnge village in Panvel taluka on July 28 and a case of murder was registered.
The arrested accused have been identified as Naresh Shantaram Betkar, 42, a resident of Ratnagiri, Dilip Premraj Shukla, 34, and Aman Singh, 25, residents of Azamgarh in UP.
Police said that Betkar had taken Rs 40,000 from the deceased who was identified as Pravin Suresh Shelar to get a girl for his marriage. However, he did not do the work and thus Shelar was asking for his money back.
“Betkar along with his two friends hatched the plan to kill Shelar and dumped the body. As Shelar parents are mentally ill and they will not search for him, they will also get his mother’s thumb to cancel the booking of a house and get Rs 6 lakh,” said Ravindra Daundkar, a senior police inspector from Panvel Taluka police station.
According to police, since the crime was committed at a secluded place, there was no CCTV footage. “After four days of technical analysis, and searching CCTV footage of 15 locations that lead to crime spots, we found a person with a half pant similar to the one found with the body in a scooter,” said Daundkar.
"We worked on that lead and finally reached his parents and only found that his parents are mentally ill and they could not provide any details. They were not even aware of where his son was," he added.
However, the police got a clue that their three friends stayed at the deceased home around a week before from neighbours. "With a little help, we nabbed Betkar from Ratnagiri and then two others from Uttar Pradesh," said the official.