In a major development, the crime branch on Thursday came across 12 live rounds of ammunition at the Andheri (West) residence of Vijay Palande, the main accused in the murder case of aspiring film producer Karan Kakkad and senior citizen Arun Tikku, during a search.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said that the ammunitions were found concealed in a duct at Palande’s rented flat in Oberoi Springs building. The bullets, of .9mm bore, are prohibited, which means these bullets are not meant for circulation in public (to weapon licencees).
From the size of the bullets, the police have concluded that they either belong to a pistol or a carbine.
“We will now be booking Palande under the Arms Act,” Roy said, adding that Palande will now be questioned to uncover the source of the live ammunitions.
Nevertheless, the discovery of the ammunition has made police suspect that Palande must also have an illegal firearm since he does not own a licence. That’s the reason why he never disclosed anything about the ammunitions during his interrogation, which is going on for over a month now.
Sources in the crime branch told Hindustan Times that the ammunitions were recovered during a search conducted at Palande’s residence to trace the missing property documents belonging to Anuj, son of Arun Tikku. Palande had allegedly planned to murder Anuj by drug overdose and subsequently grab his property, estimated to be worth over Rs50 crore.
According to sources, Palande is suspected to have procured the ammunitions from underworld operatives in Mumbai or abroad. His alleged association with deported underworld operative Santosh Shetty is well known.
Palande lived in the flat along with model Simran Sood, co-accused in Tikku’s murder, who he had introduced to the society as his sister. He was paying more than Rs.50,000 per month as rent.