Had it not been for the post-mortem report, and the subsequent discovery a piece of plywood with blood stains on it, the Chembur police would have treated the death of 80-year-old Laxman Salve as accidental. After investigations, 38-year-old Sunil Salve and his friend Ramesh Ubale, 32, have now been charged for the senior citizen’s murder and are in police custody till April 26.
In fact, Sunil had managed to convince both the police and family members of the deceased that Salve had died due to a fall at his Chembur residence.
It was only after the post-mortem report from Rajawadi hospital indicated that Salve had been hit on the head with a blunt object that the Chembur police upped their ante and interrogated Sunil once again. They also searched the house for clues, and found the plywood piece which was used to attack and kill Salve.
Salve, who worked as a farmer in Pune along with his son, had come to the city on Tuesday to attend the funeral of his younger brother’s son. While in the city, he was staying at the Chembur residence of his elder brother Tukaram, who had died a few years ago. Tukaram’s son Sunil was staying at the Chembur residence, the police said.
Senior inspector of Chembur police station Bhimrao Rathod said that after attending the funeral, Salve and Sunil had an argument over the sale of an ancestral property in Pune. “Salve had sold the land, and Sunil was not happy with his share,” added Rathod.
Following the argument, Sunil left the house in a fit of rage and met his friend Ramesh Ubale, 32, and told him about the fight he had with Salve. “Late on Tuesday night, the duo in drunken state decided to teach Salve a lesson. They went to the house and attacked him with a plywood piece,” added Rathod.
Sub inspector N Ghughe, Chembur police station, said, “On Wednesday evening at around 6pm, Sunil informed Salve’s elder son, who resides in Colaba, that his father had fallen down in their house. Sunil added that he had rushed Salve to the hospital, where he had been declared dead.”
Based on Sunil’s statement, the police initially recorded an accidental death report. But the hospital authorities contacted the Chembur police and reported of the injury Salve had suffered to his head. “Following this, we questioned Sunil again and found loopholes in the version of events he had given us. Salve gave an altered version of the sequence of events, and we pointed out discrepancies in his previous statement. On sustained questioning, he confessed to the murder and also told us that his accomplice Ubale had assisted him,” added Rathod.