Anuj Tikku claimed he was not aware of any suicide note that he had written at the behest of Vijay Palande.
When HT contacted Anuj on the phone after the crime branch disclosed that Palande had made him write a suicide note after drugging him, he said: “I have no idea what you are talking about. I have not written any suicide note.” He then said: “I don’t like to talk (to anyone) about the case,” and hung up.
A senior crime branch officer tried to play down Anuj’s claims. “It is but natural he wouldn’t remember when he wrote and signed the suicide note,” the officer said. He revealed Palande had hatched an elaborate plan to do away with Anuj. He first befriended Anuj and won his confidence. Then, he introduced him to alcohol and other intoxicants. A time came when Tikku would perpetually be under severe intoxication and thereby, oblivious to what was going on, he said.
“It is very likely that Tikku was made to write the suicide note when he was completely intoxicated,” the officer said. “That’s why he is not able to recollect anything now.”
“Palande was aware that Arunkumar Tikku had willed his property to his son Anuj. He first made Anuj write and sign a suicide note. He had planned to transfer the will in his name. Later, he would have (drug) overdosed Anuj at the latter’s residence, leaving the suicide note. It would have looked like a genuine suicide. After some time, he would have acquired his property,” the officer said.
However, Arunkumar Tikku emerged on the scene all of a sudden, shooed off Palande’s henchmen, Dhananjay Shinde and Manoj Gajkosh from his flat, and began questioning Anuj about his association with Palande. “Palande saw a definite hurdle to his plans in Arun and hence decided to get rid of him,” the officer said.
On April 7, when Arunkumar was killed by Shinde and Gajkosh, Palande took Anuj to Chiplun. “He called up Anuj and asked him to be ready for a Goa trip. Anuj trusted Palande and went along without even taking any clothes,” the official said.
“Palande would have killed Anuj at Chiplun where they made a stopover, but the crime branch team intervened on time and managed to nab him,” he said.