The suspected bid by Vijay Palande, arrested for the murder of senior citizen Arun Tikku, to short-circuit the investigation process by lifting the veil covering his face when he was being presented before a court on Wednesday, has backfired on him.
The police have filed a case of kidnapping against Palande after the brother of a 22-year-old film coordinator from Amboli, who is missing since over a month, identified him as the suspect police have been looking for when he saw his uncovered face on news channels.
The police mask the accused so that they cannot later challenge that their publicly revealed identity influenced the mandatory identification parade, in which witnesses are called in to identify them.
After Hanishkumar Kakkad alerted the Amboli police, they registered a kidnapping case against him and his two associates - Manoj Gajkosh and Dhananjay Shinde - and arrested his friend, Simran Sood, 25, an actor, on Friday.
"We had recorded a missing persons complaint on March 10, after Karankumar Kakkad went missing. We checked his credit card details and found that two persons had used it at Inorbit mall in Malad on March 11. No one could recognised the duo in security footage we had secured. Another of his credit cards had been used in Bangkok," inspector Vivek Shende said.
Sood, along with Palande, was also staying at Oberoi Spring building in Amboli where Kakkad lived. "We had called Sood for questioning earlier as we knew she was Kakkad's friend, but did not suspect anything. After this revelation, we checked her records and found that she had been in Bangkok between March 24 and 26, the period during which Kakkad's second credit card had been used in Bangkok," added Shende. Following this, the police arrested Sood, who is also being questioned to find out if she was involved in the Tikku murder plot.