A 34-year-old building material supplier was stabbed to death by his distant relative outside a Mumbra café on Friday night. The police arrested Shahid Surme, 35, for the murder.
The deceased was identified as Malik Surme. His friend Liaqat Dhole, 48, who was stabbed in the neck, is in the ICU at Kalsekar Hospital.
Heavy police bandobast was deployed in Mumbra-Kausa following the murder and shops remained shut until the last rites were completed.
The police say that prima facie the reason behind the murder seems to be the result of a brawl between the two over the playing of music.
“There was a mehendi ceremony at Shahid’s sister house because her daughter was to get engaged on Saturday. When Shahid learnt that Malik had stopped the DJ, an argument broke out, which soon turned violent,” said deputy commissioner of police (zone I) Dattatray Mandlik.
“However, there are claims that Malik and his friend were attacked over a civil dispute regarding a mosque land. Dhole is pursuing a case in the court. We are looking into these allegations,” he said.
But Malik’s family insist he was killed because he was fighting a case against the Kausa Jama Masjid Trust members.
They even laid his body on the road for sometime during the funeral procession in protest.
“He was fighting against the illegal sale of land by the trust members. He went to the Waqf board and filed a case in court. He has reclaimed much of the land through the court’s order. The accused is a supporter of the trust members and attacked him on their bidding. Though they had threatened him earlier, we never thought that they would actually kill him,” alleged Malik’s cousin Sajid Karke (26).
According to residents of Kausagaon, the dispute is regarding the 18 acre of land that belongs to the trust. Some of this land is in Kausa, some in Khardi-Shil Phata.
The dispute went to court when a residential tower was built on the trust’s land near Kausa lake.
“There have been no elections for the trust in the last 56 years. The Dhongres have been passing the trusteeship within their family year after year. The current trustee, Abdul Rashid Dhongre, and other members had initially taken our permission to build a school on the plot but instead they built a residential tower and usurped the money from the sale of the land,” said family friend Yasin Raut.
Malik and Dhole managed to get a MRTP case against Dhongre, trust members and builders, Hassan and Munna Sahil.
“The one who has been arrested is not the mastermind. The real attackers are the trust members and the builders. They must be arrested,” added Raut.