In the third murder case against Vijay Palande this year, the Mumbai police crime branch on Thursday arrested Palande and his aide Dhanajay Shinde for allegedly killing an unidentified person, whose skull had been found at Kumbharli Ghat, Chiplun. Palande and Shinde had led the police to the remains.
Palande has already been chargesheeted this year for the murders of senior citizen Arunkumar Tikku and aspiring Bollywood producer Karankumar Kakkad.
Arguing for their custody before the magistrate court, public prosecutor Kiran Bendbhar said the crime branch had recovered a human skull at the ghat on April 16, where Palande claimed to have dumped Kakkad's remains.
However, while the DNA of a torso found at the spot matched Kakkad's, the report revealed the skull was not his.
Bendbhar further contended that the police are yet to identify the person whose skull was found. "The police also want to investigate the motive behind the murder, and why the accused disposed of the body in the jungle," Bendbhar said.
A case in connection to the third murder was registered against Palande and Shinde at the Oshiwara police station on June 10, since the skull had been found at their instance.
Police said that after Kakkad was murdered, his body was cut into pieces, wrapped in plastic, and thrown in the ghat. While the police recovered the bag with Kakkad's remains, the skull was found in a different plastic bag.
Officials also said that prima facie, it appeared that the skull had been disposed at an earlier date, as it was more decayed.
The crime branch now wants to use a technique known as the forensic molecular photo fitter, to recreate the facial composition of the skull.
Officials said they would also check the missing complaints filed in the city for clues.