Pune: After four months of investigation, sleuths from the Pune rural police arrested a businessman who had killed a labourer. The accused tried to pass on the victim’s body as his own to save himself from Rs 3 crore in debts and claim insurance money.
The police had earlier nabbed two of his accomplices. The businessman, Deepak Kundalik Chaudhary (38) of Naigaon near Urulikanchan, was arrested on Monday in Akola by the Loni Kalbhor police with the help of Akola police. Earlier, the police arrested Anil Sainath Chaudhary (47) of Sortapwadi and Pradip alias Pappu Kundalik Chaudhary (32) of Naigaon on March 8. Deepak and Pappu are not brothers, the police clarified.
The police said Deepak, who deals in cement and pipes, had taken a Rs 3 crore loan from a Solapur-based co-operative bank for his business as well as to repay an earlier bank loan of Rs 1.5 crore. Deepak, who has two wives, had been facing losses in his business for the past six months. Hence, he confided in his two friends and asked them to help him fake his own death so that he could escape his death.
They decided to kill someone and pass on the body as that of Deepak’s. After that, he was to stay away from the village for 5-6 years till his debt was written off and the insurance money received by his family members.
As per the plan, the accused picked up Babu, a Nepali labourer, from Pune railway station on the pretext of getting him a job at Deepak’s cement pipe making outlet.
“They had chosen Babu as he resembled Deepak in height and body structure. For two days, Deepak treated Babu to food and wine and gave him good clothes to wear. Later, Deepak killed Babu by assaulting him with an iron rod and then disfigured his face with a stone. He placed his own Aadhaar card in the victim’s pocket. They also ran a car over the victim’s body to pass it off as an accident case,” Police Inspector BR Patil said in a report submitted in court. On Tuesday, Deepak was remanded in police custody till July 12 by a magistrate court.
The police were informed about the body found at 1 am at a bridge near Mhasoba temple within limits of Sortapwadi village, about 40 km from Pune, off Solapur highway. After finding Deepak’s identity card, the police called his relatives. However, they couldn’t identify him saying his face could not be recognised.
The police smelt a rat when the post-mortem report revealed that the deceased had multiple head injuries after being repeatedly hit with a heavy object. The blood group of the deceased didn’t match with Deepak’s.
The cops learnt that Deepak was last seen moving around with his two friends, the arrested accused, in an Innova. The police obtained CCTV footage of the area, which proved this fact. Within 12 hours of the body being found, the police nabbed the two accused, who spilled the beans. However, Deepak, the mastermind behind the brutal murder, was caught in Akola on Monday.
The police are struggling to locate family members of the deceased, Babu (about 30 years old), whose full name or other details are not known. “The accused have claimed that he was a Nepali labourer. We are yet to ascertain the identity of the deceased,” Patil said. The accused have been charged with offences under sections 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (destruction of evidence) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.