A Panvel court on Wednesday remanded Pintu Singh alias Manoj Yadav, one of those who shot Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar, to police custody till June 24.
Singh was produced before a Panvel magistrate after he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and brought to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh (UP).
Singh was found lodged in Devaria jail in UP for possessing arms.
Special public prosecutor for the CBI Ejaz Khan said they had told the court that Singh was directly involved in the killing and was one of the shooters of Nimbalkar and his driver Samad Kazi.
Khan also told the court that Singh is a hardcore criminal, wanted in at least three serious offences, including murder, in UP and Bihar.
Besides Singh, the two other shooters were Dinesh Tiwari and Chhotu Pandey.
While Tiwari was arrested by the CBI on May 25 and is now in judicial custody, Pandey is still wanted.
Singh was paid Rs 4 lakh to shoot the Congress leader. Nimbalkar and Kazi were shot dead in Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai, on June 3, 2006.
The shooters were organised by Parasmal Jain, another arrested accused in the 2006 murder case. Jain took help from Kailash Yadav, a Bahujan Samaj Party worker from Uttar Pradesh, to hire the three shooters.
Yadav is also wanted in the murder case.
CBI officials said that Yadav first hired Singh who then brought the other two shooters.
Singh shot Nimbalkar on the chest after which he fired a bullet on Kazi’s head.
CBI sources said Singh will also be questioned in the presence of suspended Nationalist Congress Party Member of Parliament Padmasinh Patil, who has so far denied his involvement in the killing.
The CBI wants to interrogate Singh in Patil’s presence to put pressure on Patil.
However, the CBI is not very hopeful this will work — Patil has earlier denied knowing Satish Mandade, another arrested accused, and close friend of his.