Arun Kumar Tikku, 62, who was murdered at his Lokhandwala residence on April 7, owned properties worth over Rs50 crore in Mumbai, Delhi and two more cities. This was the reason Vijay Palande alias Karan Sood chose him and his son as his target, the crime branch claims.
A senior crime branch official said: “Palande told us that the victim had named his son, Anuj, as the sole beneficiary in his will. He got this information from Anuj over a few drinks.”
The official added that Palande had planned to drug Anuj and get his signature on the property transfer papers.
Palande reportedly told the investigators that his associates had taken Anuj to Chiplun on the day his father was murdered. “We are probing if this was a full scale planned murder conspiracy,” the official said. “We found choppers and plastic bags at the scene of crime. They probably planned to dispose of Arun’s body, but could not because they were spotted by a resident of the society.”
According to the official, Palande may have planned to kill Anuj the same way he had murdered Karan Kakkad and Anup Das and his father.
“However, we can not take Palande’s statements at face value as we need to cross check everything. That is the reason the investigation is taking time,” the official said, adding that they were yet to verify whether Anuj was the sole beneficiary.
Palande was arrested by the crime branch in connection with the Tikku murder case on April 9. During questioning, the police found he was involved in the murder of Kakkad, an aspiring producer, who went missing in the first week of March.
Cop under probe for accused’s escape from car
A police official from the crime branch is under investigation for his role in Vijay Palande’s escape from the police vehicle on April 10.
Sources said the official is a distant relative of Palande. A crime branch officer told HT that a separate case had been registered against Palande for his escape. The officer said on April 10, the police vehicle was stuck in traffic at Andheri.
“Palande was sitting between the official and a constable in the back seat. The constable got down to regulate traffic, but didn’t close the door. It is at this point Palande escaped,” the officer said. “An internal inquiry is being conducted by an assistant commissioner of police as to why the official did not stop him,” the officer said. HTC