Months after the brutality of back-to-back murders by accused Vijay Palande shook the city, another chain of ruthless murders allegedly committed by a 30-year-old autorickshaw driver over property-related issues has come to the fore.
Gopal Pandey, who was arrested by the Borivli police on June 13 along with five others for the alleged murder of a builder, later confessed to killing a loan agent in 2010.
He has now informed the crime branch about his involvement in a third murder, that of an estate agent, in 2008.
“During his interrogation on Tuesday night, Pandey confessed his involvement in the murder of an estate agent, Vijay, 32, in 2008. He told us that he, along with accomplices, had strangled him in a car. They disposed off the body in a farm near Jawahar Taluka in Thane,” a crime branch official told HT on condition of anonymity.
The case bears an uncanny resemblance to the alleged murders and disposal of bodies by Palande, in whose case too, involvement in more murders had come to the fore after his arrest in connection with one murder.
The officer said that in addition to Pandey and some of his accomplices already arrested in the builder’s murder, three others are wanted in the estate agent’s murder.
“We are on the lookout for the accused,” he said.
“After the confession, when we went to Borivli police station, where a case regarding Vijay’s disappearance should have been registered, we found no such record. We then contacted Vijay’s family. His brother told us that when he was on his way to register a missing person complaint at Borivli police station, Pandey had threatened him against it,” said the official.
“Pandey told him that if he approached the police, his entire family would meet the same fate as that of Vijay. Vijay’s brother decided not to put the lives of the others in the family at risk, and did not pursue the matter further,” said the official.
Pandey is currently in police custody for the earlier murders. The police will soon charge him with the murder of the real estate agent. “A case of murder will be registered at the Borivli police station,” added the officer.