Rakesh Pawar(HT)
Rakesh Pawar(HT)

Local cricket coach stabbed to death in Mumbai

One accused has been arrested, while 2 others are on the run
By Pratik Salunkhe | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 08, 2019 12:41 AM IST

A 35-year-old district-level cricketer and coach was stabbed in the head multiple times and killed in Bhandup on Thursday night. The police have identified three suspects — Sohail Khan, 18, his father Asif and one of Sohail’s friends . Late on Friday, the police arrested Asif. Khan and his friend have been missing since the crime.

Rakesh Pawar was killed around 11.45pm on Thursday, when he was at a petrol pump on LBS road. Pawar’s relatives said they suspect Khan killed Pawar, because he stopped Khan from selling drugs in the area. “At least two of the suspects were carrying sharp weapons. It looks like Pawar was attacked after arguments with the suspects,” said Akhileshkumar Singh, deputy commissioner of police, zone 7.

A police vehicle that reached the petrol pump after the attack took Pawar to the Mulund general hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. Pawar was with a friend when he was killed. The police is questioning her to find out more.

Pawar, who coaches children in the area, had confronted Khan several times about the latter’s drug habit and asked him why he was influencing the youth there. “Khan has been pulled up for his drug habit. He is also known to get other boys to try drugs. He first gives them the drugs for free, and when the boys get addicted, he would start charging for it,” said Radha Khandagle, Pawar’s relative.

“Rakesh [Pawar] frequently stopped them from taking drugs, but to no avail. We informed the police, but nothing has been done,” Khandagle said.

A local MLA, Ashok Patil, confirmed there was a drug problem in the area. “The police have not caught the sellers, and the menace is becoming big,” he said.

The police said Khan has had issues with the Pawars earlier too. On September 13, 2017, Khan allegedly knocked down Pawar’s older brother Ravi, 45, with a motorcycle in Bhandup. The police have charged the suspects under IPC section 303 (murder).

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