PUNE: Sleuths from Crime Branch Unit I of Pune city police arrested five men who were planning to loot a petrol pump on Saturday night. The arrest also solved the murder case of a notorious goon who was hacked to death by the accused 10 months ago.
The accused, Vikram Shekhar Pillai (28) of Fatima Nagar, Raju Shivappa Narayan Naik (34), Shambhu Balkrishan Thapa (20), both residents of Ghorpadi, Farooq Rafique Shaikh (26) and Shahrukh Sikandar Shaikh (25), both residents of Bhavani Peth, were arrested after Police Constable Gajanan Sonune received a tip-off that these persons were planning to loot a petrol pump on BT Kawde Road and they would assemble near a canal at 11 pm on Saturday.
A team laid by Senior Police Inspector Nitin Bhosale Patil laid a trap and nabbed the accused. “They were produced before the Cantonment Court, which remanded them in police custody. During interrogation, the accused confessed to murder of their friend Vicky Ramesh Potana (25) of Wanawadi in January this year. Pillai runs a Chinese food snacks hotel where Potana allegedly used to come daily and demand free food and money. Pillai was fed up of this. The accused persons conspired and in January, they consumed alcohol in a tin shed and later murdered Potana. They cut his body into pieces and tried to burn it. Potana’s mother had lodged a missing complaint about him with Wanawadi police station,” DCP (Crime) Pankaj Dahane said.
ACP (Crime I) Samir Shaikh added, “When the accused persons were arrested, we recovered one air gun, four choppers, masks, ropes, mobile phones, totally worth Rs 18,300 from their possession. Potana had five cases against him including one murder case. Pillai also has five cases including that of extortion against him, while Naik was one case.”
The investigation team included API Dhananjay Kapre, PSI Harshal Kadam, ASIs Rajendra Surve, Vijesingh Wasave, and policemen Prakash Lokhande, Rizwan Jinedi, Ashok Mane, Umesh Kate, Raju Pawar, Subhash Pingle, Irfan Momin, Shrikant Waghvale, Tushar Khadke, Sachin Jadhav, Imran Shaikh, Prashant Gaikwad and Mohan Yelpale.