Conspiracy to kill slain Matka king’s widow: Arrested accused turns approver
Rambeer Naresh Kumar Sharma alias Pandit who has been arrested by the Mumbai Police’s crime branch in connection with the alleged conspiracy to eliminate Jaya Bhagat, widow of slain Matka king Suresh Bhagat, and her sister Asha Bhatt, has turned an approver in the case.
A police officer said his statement was recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) before a metropolitan magistrate on Monday.
Pandit, a native of Madhya Pradesh, had got a contract through his associate Basheer Suleman Begani alias Mamu to kill both the sisters. Begani, who was roped in by Bhagat’s brother-in-law Vinod, is wanted in the case and is believed to be in Manchester City in England. The crime branch have issued a look-out circular (LOC) for his arrest.
“LOC has been issued against Begani. So, whenever he visits any airport, ports and road borders in India, immigration authorities will alert us about his presence,” said inspector Nandkumar Gopale of unit 9 of crime branch.
The unit has arrested five of the alleged perpetrators before the gang could kill Bhagat and her sister in December last year. The arrested accused are Mohammed Anwar Sabbir Darji, 31; Mohammad Javed Islamuddin Ansari, 41; Maqsood Maqbool Qureshi, 35; Rambeer Naresh Kumar Sharma alias Pandit, 39; and Vinod Bhagat.
Vinod is the brother of slain Matka king Suresh Bhagat who was killed in a road accident on Alibag-Pen road in 2008. Later it was found that the road accident was a pre-planned murder orchestrated by his wife Jaya and son Hitesh.
As per the crime branch’s probe, the family members were fighting to get hold on the Matka business. Besides, Vinod also wanted to take revenge of his brother’s murder. He had allegedly given ₹60 lakh contract to his friend Begani, who had then purportedly contacted Sharma and paid ₹14 lakh in advance to arrange shooters and eliminate Jaya and her sister, said police officers.
Sharma had in turn engaged Darji, Ansari, and Qureshi to execute the plan. The trio accordingly came to Mumbai in October 2020 and conducted recce and discreetly recorded videos and clicked photographs of Jaya and her sister. The trio then left for their hometown in October.
Qureshi, the shooter, was allegedly set to kill the sisters at the wedding of Asha’s son on December 10 last year, added Gopale. Darji and Ansari came to Mumbai on December 6 while Qureshi was supposed to come before December 10. However, as Qureshi could not come in time, the gang had to postpone the plan, said crime branch officials.
Meanwhile, police got a tip-off about the conspiracy and arrested Darji on December 18 and recovered two pistols and six live cartridges from him. Police also found he had pictures of Jaya and Asha in his mobile phone. Ansari had initially managed to flee from Mumbai but after interrogation of Darji, both Ansari and Qureshi were arrested on December 21 from Bijnor.
During interrogation, Vinod’s name cropped up following which he was arrested on December 21. Another team in Bijnor arrested Sharma who in turn named Begani.
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