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Former army officer bludgeoned to death for refusing matchbox, one arrested: Pune Police

Captain Bali, who was living as a recluse in a makeshift tent on a footpath in the Camp area, was bludgeoned to death on February 1.

pune Updated: Feb 14, 2018 07:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
kunal more,lazarus,pune
The accused hit the victim on the head with a concrete brick lying close-by.(AFP)

Captain Ravindra Kumar Bali, 67, who was living on the footpath on Dr Koyaji road, was murdered by a 21-year-old as he refused to give the accused a matchbox to light a cigarette .

The city police on Monday arrested the 21-year-old identified as Robinson Anthony Lazarus, a resident of Tarapur road near Dastur Boys High School. Lazarus got into an altercation with the deceased at around 11:30 pm on February 1 after he woke up Bali to ask for a matchstick to light his cigarette, said officials from crime branch, Unit 3.

"He celebrated his birthday on February 4, changed his look with a haircut and then fled from Pune. He had spoken about the incident to a few of his friends over the phone," said Pradip Deshpande, additional commissioner of police, crime.

After drinking with his friends on a hill top in the city limits, Lazarus was riding back home with his friend, Kunal More, on More's moped registered under MH12KL2576, police officials said.

The moped ran out of fuel near the Camp area, after which Kunal More pushed the vehicle, while Lazarus was walking behind. On their way, Lazarus wanted to smoke a cigarette and came across Bali's tent near bungalow number 7 on Dr Koyaji road. Bali lashed out at being woken up in the late hours and Lazarus hit him on the head with a concrete brick lying close-by, according to the police. Lazarus's friend, after failed attempts of stopping him, ran away from the spot.

The 21-year-old took money from various friends and fled to Pendar area of Taloja in Panvel, Mumbai. He started working at a Chinese food stall in Panvel and was arrested by the city police team led by police inspector Sitaram More.

"He has two cases, one each of petrol theft and mobile theft, registered against him at the Bund Garden police station," said Sameer Shaikh, assistant commissioner of police, crime.

Lazarus worked in a business process outsourcing (BPO) company after completing Class 12 from a local convent junior college. While his father runs a lemon juice stall in the city, his mother works as a domestic help in Hong Kong, according to the police.

First Published: Feb 13, 2018 15:08 IST