Pune: The Baramati city police on Friday arrested a police sub-inspector (PSI), his jeweller friend and his associate for allegedly murdering a Mumbai-based interior designer at a farm near Baramati MIDC area, about 100 km from Pune, on the night of October 30 last year.
The primary investigations have revealed that the Pune-based jeweller had asked the interior designer to bring his 2 kg gold parcel from one of the traders at Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai. However, the designer did not give him the parcel claiming that he had misplaced it while travelling. As a result, the jeweller, the PSI and his associate hatched a plan and murdered the designer by hitting him on his head with a blunt object.
The arrested PSI has been identified as Suresh Kallappa Chavan (48), his jeweller friend Shrenik Bhandari and his associate Pathan. Bhandari was arrested from Pune while Chavan was picked up from Kolhapur where he is posted. All the suspects have been remanded in police custody till April 27.
The deceased designer Sudhir Ramchandra Yerunkar was a resident of Mira Road and used to take interior designing contracts. Speaking to dna, superintendent of police (Pune rural) Manojkumar Lohia said, "Sudhir used to come to Baramati quite often and during one such visit he came in contact with Bhandari, who had given him a contract for interior designing of his house. On October 30, Bhandari asked Sudhir to bring his 2 kg gold parcel from a trader at Zaveri Bazaar. However, Sudhir did not give the parcel to Bhandari following which the latter along with his son had a fight with Sudhir.."
Thereafter, Bhandari, Chavan and Pathan hatched a plan to kill Sudhir. On October 31, Bhandari called up Sudhir asking him to come to his farm near Baramati MIDC area. Accordingly, Sudhir went to the farm where the three were waiting for him. After a brief argument over the issue, Bhandari, Chavan and Pathan started assaulting Sudhir and one of them hit a blunt object on his head killing him on the spot. The trio then put the body in Bhandari's SUV while Chavan came back to the police station, said Lohia.
Bhandari and Pathan drove the body to Naldurga area in Osmanabad district and dumped it on the roadside and returned to Baramati. The next day, the local police found the body and lodged an FIR against unidentified persons.
"After the incident, Chavan immediately went on a leave citing family issues. He along with Bhandari also went to the district to inquire the status of the investigation," Lohia added.
How the case was cracked
Sudhir's wife got suspicious after Bhandari started avoiding her calls. She submitted an application to the police alleging that jeweller may be behind her husband's disappearance.
Police found that Bhandari was the last person who had contacted Sudhir and thereafter his phone was switched off.
Later, the police got information about Pathan and took him into confidence. He spilled the beans and revealed the role of Bhandari and Chavan in the murder case.