While a policeman has been suspended for allegedly helping Vijay Palande flee from custody, the cops are now investigating whether the murder accused has connections in the government that may have helped him procure fake passports.
The police found that Palande was using three passports — in different names — to travel in and out of the country. “Two of them are in false names – Karan Sood and Kiran Kanubhai Rana. Palande used the passports mainly to travel to Bangkok and several European destinations such as Barcelona,” said an officer from the Mumbai crime branch, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The police are investigating where and how Palande availed the passports. “We are interrogating Palande and are trying to find out if a government official helped him get these passports,” said another crime branch officer.
When Palande was re-arrested in 2006 after he had jumped parole three years earlier, the police had discovered that he had a fake passport under the name of Rana. He was found at an Andheri (West) apartment where he lived with small-time actor Simran Sood.
“In 2006, a case was registered against him under Indian Penal Code sections 419 for cheating by personation, 420 for cheating, 465 for forgery, 468 for forgery for purpose of cheating, and 471 for using as genuine a forged document,” said an official from DN Nagar police station, adding that he was sent back to Nashik jail.
In 2009, he was granted bail by the high court after his lawyer argued that he had spent nine years in jail. Also, the police failed to inform the court that he had been convicted for double murder and had jumped parole.