The murder case of 61-year-old RTI activist Bhupendra Vira was handed over to the Mumbai crime branch (Unit 8) from Vakola police station on Tuesday. Confirming the development, Joint commissioner of police Sanjay Saxena (Mumbai crime branch) said, “Several teams have been formed, and we are looking for the main shooters.”
Vira was shot dead at his Kalina residence in Santacruz (East) on Sunday night while watching television. So far, the Vakola police have arrested ex-corporator Razzak Khan, 78, and his son Amjad, 53, for their involvement in the crime. The two are in police custody till October 24.
“Though the accused are currently placed in the custody of Vakola police, we’ll coordinate with them to question Razzak and Amjad to get leads on their accomplices,” said a crime branch officer. Soon after the incident, Razzak was admitted to a hospital after complaining of chest pain. However, he was arrested immediately following his discharge on Sunday evening. Vira and Razzak were at loggerheads over an ongoing property dispute.
An officer from Vakola police station said Amjad and his men had attacked Vira’s son and nephew with swords in 2010. After this incident,Vira started targeting Razzak’s illegal properties and filed several complaints against him in the BMC and even got Lokayaukta to initiate action in this matter.
“Vira’s family raised doubts over the duo’s involvement in the crime. They were arrested after investigation revealed their involvement in the crime,” said senior inspector Mahadev Wavale from Vakola police station.
Another officer added, “We have been questioning several others, including Razzak’s other sons, to find out whether it was Amjad or a contract killer who murdered Vira . As of now, there is no clarity on the killer’s identity.”