It was, allegedly, a demand for more money to regularise an illegal construction on a plot in Kamothe that cost Cidco official Atul Mhatre, 35, his life. The police have arrested four people in the case.
Additional commissioner of police Fattehsingh Patil, said, “We zeroed in on Hanuman alias Prem Patil, 24, a real estate agent from Kamothe. We then arrested his friend Nitin Bhoir, 23, of Kharghar, his employee Anand alias Andy Cruz, 27, of Kamothe and driver Kunal Salunkhe, 25, of Chembur.”
Mhatre worked as a clerk in the land and survey department of Cidco and was assigned to Kamothe. He was found murdered on February 10 in Panvel.
Patil said, “Hanuman had approached Mhatre to get an illegal construction regularised on a 400 sqm plot allotted to a project-affected person, Chimne [first name not known], in Kamothe. Hanuman was developing the plot. Mhatre was paid Rs3 lakh for regularisation. Later, Mhatre demanded Rs20 lakh more.”
Police said on the day he was kidnapped, Hanuman told Mhatre to join him in his car at Manghar to discuss the plot issue. “The three others were also in the car. When Mhatre did not relent on his demand, Andy strangled him to death,” Patil said.
The accused then returned to Manghar where Mhatre’s car was parked and threw his footwear there to mislead the police.