Published On : Sat, Aug 23rd, 2014

City businessman kidnapped, murdered over property; foxy friend emerges as mastermind

Nagpur News

In a spine-chilling incident, a Nagpur businessman was kidnapped, murdered and his body dumped in a far away secluded place most probably over handsome property. The murder could be termed one of most foul as needle of suspicion points the role of his best but foxy friend and some of his accomplices.  The role of cops in handling the case also raises many an eyebrow, to some extent. The murder revolves around conspiracy, drama, and also poses a challenge to police.

According to reports and sources, Sanjay Prabhakar Mahajan (45), resident of Plot No. 124, Pandurang Nagar, near Gawande Nagar Union Bank, Pande Layout Khamla, Nagpur owned a huge 5000 sq ft plot of land which housed his residence and a chicken center run by Sanjay himself. In sum, Sanjay was man of crores. His family comprised wife Priyanka (30) and a son who is reported to be dumb. Sanjay had also started venturing into real estate business.

Sources further said that the dramatic but blood curdling events started unfolding on August 18, 2014. At about 3.30 pm, Sanjay received a phone call from his friend Ashutosh Gajanan Wankar (39), resident of 129, HB Estate, near Shiv Mandir, Sonegaon. Ashutosh told Sanjay to come to his house for TDR work (Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) facilitated making available certain amount of additional built up area in lieu of the area relinquished or surrendered by the owner of the land, so that he can use extra built up area either himself or transfer it to another in need of the extra built up area for an agreed sum of money). But Ashutosh told Sanjay to come alone. On receiving the phone call, Sanjay immediately left for Ashutosh’s house on his Pleasure moped (MH 31/EH 0645). But surprisingly, at about 4.30 pm, Ashutosh phoned Priyanka and asked about Sanjay. He told Priyanka that Sanjay had not reached his house yet. Later, Priyanka made a call to Sanjay on his mobile to ascertain the reason why he has not reached Ashutosh’s house but she found Sanjay’s mobile switched off. Priyanka then frantically searched Sanjay at his other friends and relatives’ house and even hospitals but could not trace him. Finally, Priyanka, along with Ashutosh, approached Pratap Nagar Police Station and lodged a missing complaint at about 10 in the night on the same day i.e. on August 18, said the sources.

After registering an FIR in this connection, Pratap Nagar PSI Maroti Munde and his team launched a search for Sanjay Mahajan on August 19. The police first went to Sitabuldi-based Greenland Group and questioned the partners of the Group namely Dabhade and Mittal whether Sanjay and Ashutosh had approached them for TDR work. Both Dabhade and Mittal said that they had neither any idea about Sanjay and Ashutosh coming to them for TDR work nor they had come to them. Thereafter, the police went to Golden Beer Shoppy run by Ashutosh Wankar in Khare Town, Dharampeth. There also the police drew a blank. Meanwhile, police approached concerned agencies for information on Sanjay Mahajan and Ashutosh Wankar’s mobile phone Call Detail Record (CDR), High Data Record (HDR), Town Location and Doordarshan, AIR, Social Security Department for wide publicity on Sanjay’s missing. Police also visited sisters of Sanjay namely Vrunda Mahajan and other sister to know whether Sanjay had any property dispute. However, both the sisters said they have no idea about any property dispute. With no clues on whereabouts of Sanjay Mahajan, Pratap Nagar police called Ashutosh to police station at about 9 pm and grilled him severely. The police, in a well-planned strategy, pinned Ashutosh down and told him that CDR of his mobile has shown him at various places that he never mentioned and that his mobile has been put under tracing. The cops also bamboozled Ashutosh by suspecting his role in Sanjay’s missing. Police built up a case and told Ashutosh that they have received reliable information that he and his other three accomplices kidnapped Sanjay and after taking him to a place in WaganR car, Sanjay  was strangulated to death. The police asked Ashutosh to confess his crime and record all the true facts. However, Ashutosh feigned ignorance about whereabouts of Sanjay and told police that why would he harm Sanjay when he had given Rs 19 lakh to him for business purpose and they are friends since the past 20 years, said sources.

However, the stone-faced police, according to their strategy, sternly told Ashutosh to report to police station tomorrow i.e. on August 20 at 7 in the morning and record his statement and thereafter police allowed Ashutosh to go home. Astonishingly, this strategy of police worked as after reaching home Ashutosh reportedly switched off his mobile and went absconding. Now, police have launched a hunt to trace Ashutosh, said the sources.

Bizarre twist:

Meanwhile, in a bizarre twist to the case, a body was found lying at a secluded bushy place near Khatkheda under the jurisdiction of Bela Police Station (Umred) on August 19, the day after Sanjay Mahajan went missing. The body bore deep wounds on head and throat and was found without shirt and trouser. After registering a murder offence against unidentified persons under Sections 302, 201 of the IPC, Bela police sent the body to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) for post-mortem. Surprisingly, a photo of the body was also received by Crime Reporter of Nagpur Todaywho made it viral. The photo then reached many police departments and coincidently, the Crime Branch of Nagpur Police sent the photo to Pratap Nagar Police Station. API Munde, after confirming about the body with Bela API Rokde, then called Priyanka to police station and showed the photo to her for chance identification of the victim. Priyanka immediately identified the victim as her husband Sanjay Mahajan. In the meanwhile, Sanjay’s Pleasure moped was also found at Shiv Mandir near High Court. Now, police surmised that Sanjay was murdered in Nagpur and his body was dumped at a field near Khatkheda falling under Bela Police Station jurisdiction. The murderers, it appears, also tried to destroy evidence and hide identity of the victim.

When Nagpur Today contacted Aarti Singh, Superintendent of Police (SP), Nagpur Rural to seek further information on the case, she said that they are investigating the matter in a professional way and soon the culprits would be apprehended. The SP also confirmed Nagpur link to the murder.

Now, after the expose of conspiracy, drama and action, focus will be on cracking the murder and who will do it. Will it be Bela police (Nagpur Rural) or Crime Branch or Pratap Nagar police? And the absconding Ashutosh Wankar, the foxy friend of Sanjay, who allegedly tried to mislead police, holds the key to all angles of the murder. His arrest, sooner or later, would reveal the truth!!