The Navi Mumbai police have arrested one Chandrakant Waghmare, 28, for allegedly murdering four real estate agents at a Panvel farmhouse. They also claim that Waghmare and the four victims had gathered there in an attempt to do black magic in the hope that money would rain from the sky.
The victims, Ramdas Patil, Balaram Tople, Nitin Joshi and Pritam Gharat were found dead at the farmhouse on November 14. The police had then suspected a property dispute.
According to Sunil Bajare, senior police inspector of New Panvel police station, “The victims were lured to the farm house after being told that money would pour down from the sky. Ramdas Patil had called them all.” He added, “Waghmare, an estate agent, was a friend of the victims and also part of the group at the farm. He bludgeoned Patil to death and shot the other three in the head. He then placed the pistol in Tople’s hand to mislead us.”
Bajare said the police traced Waghmare to Karjat based on clues from the victims’ mobile phones that were found at the farmhouse and eye witness accounts and arrested him there. Following an interrogation, Waghmare confessed to killing the four, whom he said were drunk.
The murder motive, however, is yet to be ascertained. “The murder had been planned for a couple of months. It is likely the victims had brought a lot of money to the farmhouse, believing that black magic would multiply it. But we do not have a confirmation,” Bajare added.
While Bajare said no material related to black magic was found at the farm house, police sources said there were coloured handprints on the walls and incense sticks, powder as well as other similar materials were strewn around the farmhouse.
Not everyone believes the police version though. Mangesh Gharat, the brother of one of the victims said, “My brother was not an estate agent. That day, he had collected nearly 14 lakh rupees saying he was going to Pandharpur and would return a rich man.” He added, “We have never heard of a Chandrakant Waghmare, how could one man kill four well-built people all by himself?”
Waghmare, who was presented before a Panvel court on Monday was remanded in police custody till November 26.