After escaping from police custody on April 10, murder accused Vijay Palande was not planning to flee to Bangkok alone, he intended to take model-actor Simran Sood, who has claimed to be his wife, with him, the police said on Tuesday.
Palande is the main accused in the murder of senior citizen Arun Tikku and aspiring Bollywood producer Karan Kakkad.
A senior crime branch official said that during interrogation, Palande had told them that after escaping from the police jeep in Andheri (east), he
had gone to a politician’s office, from where he contacted his friend, stockbroker Gautam Vora.
The duo then allegedly met at Marine Lines railway station and drove to Colaba, from where Palande picked up clothes before checking into a hotel.
The plan to flee to Bangkok was allegedly hatched in the hotel room, and Vora agreed to sponsor the trip. Palande told Vora to pick up Simran from Oshiwara police station, where she was being questioned in connection with the Tikku murder, so that she could accompany him, according to the official.
“He thought that if Simran faced intense interrogation, she would spill his secrets as she was privy to everything,” the official said. “Also, it would be easier for him to evade suspicion if a woman accompanied him.”
Following Palande’s instruction, Vora drove to Oshiwara police station, but the police detained him too. “Palande called Vora two to three times, but the police were not letting Vora go,” he said.
After waiting for more than 90 minutes, Palande is said to have decided to go to his sister’s house in Borivli to collect his passport as she had refused to bring it to the airport and fly alone to Bangkok. However, he was re-arrested from Churchgate station before he could board a train.