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Ex-jockey at heart of 10-month-old murder mystery, robbery plan in Pune

The deceased was himself facing a murder charge for killing another person.

pune Updated: Nov 02, 2017 15:31 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Vicky Ramesh Potan, 25, a resident of Dhobalwadi in Wanowrie, who was murdered during the second week of January.(HT Photo)

The city police cracked a 10-month-old murder case after arresting five persons including a jockey when they were attempting robbery. According to the police, the deceased was himself facing a murder charge for killing another person.

The five arrested men were identified as Vikram Shekhar Pillai, 28, a resident of Fatimanagar, Raju Shivappa Narayan Naik, 34, a resident of Ghorpadi, Sambhu Balkrushna Thapa, 20, a resident of Ghorpadi, Farook Rafiq Shaikh, 26 and Shahrukh Sikandar Shaikh, 25, both residents of Bhawani Peth, according to Pankaj Dahane, deputy commissioner of police, Crime. Pillai owned a Chinese food eatery near BT Kawade road area.

They were arrested on October 28 based on information received by constable Gajanan Sonawne that they were coming to BT Kawade road with an intention to rob the Kawade petrol pump. They were found in possession of an air gun, four sickles, masks, rope and mobile phone, collectively worth ₹18,300, according to the police.

The five were produced in Lashkar Court and sent to police custody till November 3, according to DCP Dahane. During interrogation, the five revealed that they had killed a man identified as Vicky Ramesh Potan, 25, a resident of Dhobalwadi in Wanowrie, in the second week of January. Potan himself had charges of murder against him for killing a man named Arjun Poojary. Potan had committed the murder in 2012 and since he was underage, he did not face severe punishment. Potan also had four other cases in the city registered against him.

Potan used to come to the Chinese eatery owned by Pillai and ate without paying for the food and forcefully asked for money, the police said based on the information provided by the five men during interrogation. Fed up by his tactics, Pillai and the others murdered him, cut him up and tried to burn the body in parts.

Pillai used to be a jockey for Pesi Shroff and has travelled to England and Malaysia for work, the police found out. PIllai, who studied till Class 6, made over ₹1 lakh in salary as a jockey, he told the police. However, two years ago, he was thrown out for arrogant behaviour after which he opened an eatery and spiraled into the world of crime, the police said. Pillai has five cases against him and was on the run from Wanowrie police in a case of extortion. Raju Shivappa Narayan Naik also has a case of dacoity against him.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 14:45 IST