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Police use victim’s Instagram friends’ list to track murder accused

Published on Jul 10, 2022 12:54 AM IST

Within eight hours of a college student being murdered while out on an evening walk, police have arrested the assailants after tracking them using the victim’s Instagram friends’ list

One of the friends, who was with him at the time of the incident, told the police that Vishal, who used to study BSC IT at Sandesh College of Arts, Commerce and Science in Vikhroli, had told them about one of his close friends, Altaf (HT Photo)
ByVinay Dalvi, Mumbai

Within eight hours of a college student being murdered while out on an evening walk, police have arrested the assailants after tracking them using the victim’s Instagram friends’ list.

According to police, around 6.30 pm on Friday, Vishal Ajit Rao, 21, a resident of Saki Vihar road in Powai, was attacked by two persons. The duo stabbed him at least 21 times on his neck, shoulder, and stomach.

Maheshwar Reddy, deputy commissioner of police, zone X, said the attackers first pushed Vishal’s two friends aside and then dragged him behind a few vehicles parked on the roadside. “They stabbed him several times and fled. Vishal was taken to Rajawadi hospital in Ghatkopar by his friends. Later, he succumbed to his injuries.”

“There were no CCTV cameras in the vicinity and all we had was the description of the assailants,” Santosh Sawant, police inspector of Powai police station, said.

One of the friends, who was with him at the time of the incident, told the police that Vishal, who used to study BSC IT at Sandesh College of Arts, Commerce and Science in Vikhroli, had told them about one of his close friends, Altaf.

“However, nobody knew anything about Altaf. We then logged into Vishal’s Instagram account, searched his contact list, and found Altaf,” Sawant said.

Altaf told the police that Vishal had a dispute with two brothers, identified as Ajay Gupta, 23, and Anil Gupta, 26, and they were residents of Tunga village in Powai.

“Vishal had abused Ajay. Angered over this, the brothers decided to teach him a lesson and accordingly stabbed him,” Sawant said.

The duo was arrested from their house in the early hours of Saturday.

“As we managed to trace Altaf, a common friend of the deceased and the accused, we could make the arrest,” Sawant added.

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