After a nine-month chase across five states, the crime branch finally arrested the main accused in the murder of 51-year-old Chetna Ajmera, wife of real estate developer Jayant Ajmera, from Rajasthan.
Ashok Shyamlal Purohit alias Bansilal alias Maharaj, 31, who had worked as a cook with the developer’s family from January to March 2012, along with his two aides, killed the woman, said the police. On May 7, 2012, Purohit fled Mumbai with cash and jewellery worth Rs. 1.40 crore stolen from the house.
At a press conference on Friday, Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), said that Purohit was arrested from Rajsamand in Rajasthan. The teams had travelled to Udaipur, Indore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaunpur, Sultanpur, Bilwar and a few other places, but Purohit managed to give them the slip each time, said Niket Kaushik, additional commissioner of police (Crime).
According to officials, Purohit used to change his location, mobile phone and SIM cards regularly to evade arrest. He had even snapped ties with his family in Rajasthan.
In February 2013, he started seeing a bar girl in Mumbai, on whom he had spent lakhs of rupees. When the crime branch was about to arrest him, he was tipped off by two bar owners —Raju Pandit and Nilesh Mandal — who were arrested later.
Fleeing the city, Purohit started living with a 16-year-old girl in Lucknow. The girl’s family had lodged a missing person’s complaint with the Sultanpur police station. The search then led the police to Purohit’s whereabouts.
“He had got a voter’s ID and a ration card in Lucknow using the alias Rahul Joshi,” officials said.
The police have recovered Rs. 3.09 lakh, jewellery and watches from Purohit. They have also recovered the chisel used to murder Ajmera.
Purohit was produced before a local court and has been remanded in police custody till March 28.