The Mumbai crime branch on Wednesday filed a charge sheet against eight accused in the murder of Vashi-based builder Sunil Kumar Loharia, in the Thane court.
Investigators have found out that the murder was fallout of enmity between builders. Sources said that a ‘severe’ rivalry between two groups that had arisen because of monetary transactions, and this caused the rivalry between builders. Officials said this led to a series of complaints and cross complaints between the groups with the police. Sources said the dispute reached a point where one group decided to eliminate Loharia, and hired former encounter specialist Emmanuel Amolik for the ‘contract’ to kill him. As per police investigations, Amolik then hired three teams to execute the plan.
Amolik held meetings with the groups of assassins before the murder and gave them weapons. He also received the three teams at Vashi station on February 16, the morning before the murder.
Police have recovered Rs 2 lakh from one of the suspects arrested who was present at the scene of the crime.
The police have filed a charge sheet against the shooters Venkatesh Shettiar and Wajid Kureshi, Amolik, developer Sumit Bachewar, contractor Altaf Khan, estate agent Bhaijaan alias Mohammed Ansari, Francis Chawri, a hired criminal who was present at the crime scene in a back-up team, and Kailash Dumane who was also present at the crime scene.
Later, the police will file a supplementary charge sheet against Bhupesh Gupta, a cable operator who had an enmity with Loharia.
The crime branch has put out a lookout notice against builder Suresh Bijlani, architect Anurag Garg and owner of a real estate firm SP Aggarwal. Police have also moved court to declare them as ‘absconders’ and to attach their properties. Officials said they suspect the three were part of the conspiracy, and that they are wanted for questioning by the crime branch.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime) said, “We have filed the charge sheet and are hopeful of arresting the remaining accused soon.”