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Police make fresh arrests in ex-corporator's murder

Saturday, January 13, 2018
By Zuber Ansari

Five accused till date, two still absconding

Samta Nagar police station have made two fresh arrests for their alleged involvement in ex-corporator Ashok Sawant’s murder.

The sleuths made dual arrests recently – that of Vishal Gaikwad (32) and Anil Waghmare (43). Gaikwad was picked up up late evening from Kalyan this week and Waghmare in the wee hours. With the pair in police custody now, a total of five people have been arrested, including a minor, who has been sent to a child remand home.

The others caught, who were on the run and are now arrested are Abhishek Mane and Jagdish Pawar.

Gaikwad did not have any direct or major involvement in the former Shiv Sena politician's murder, but it was later found out that he was shielding the absconding accused, including Waghmare.

Gaikwad's role came to light when an accused, a minor (17-year-old) was nabbed in Pune and revealed Gaikwad's name along with others on interrogation.

The arrested accused were presented in court and the cops have been given custody of them till 18 January.   

The investigation so far has revealed that Waghmare was the mastermind behind the 62-year-old's gruesome murder. However their motive is not yet known and facts will be established only upon further interrogation.

The city police formed three teams in the case, after two people were arrested but the police are yet to establish the role of the accused and motive of the crime. In an initial investigation, it has been suspected that the murder was a fallout of a Dahisar based SRA project dispute or Cable business issue.

Sawant was returning home along with a relative after meeting a friend. The accused were waiting in a vehicle outside the victim's house in Sur building at Samta Nagar in Kandivali East. Sawant, who was stabbed multiple times in the stomach, had retaliated at the time of being attacked, but they overpowered him. The killers stabbed him more than 15 times. Sawant, a two-time corporator, is the brother of Subhash Sawant, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) currently attached with the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS). The deceased politician had been involved in cable business. He had reportedly been receiving extortion calls over the past couple of days and had even complained to the police. Sawant is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. Two of his children are MBBS doctors. The family is deeply pained as one of his daughters was to get married on February 5.

The police managed to arrest one of the three contract killers within few hours who was identified as Dahisar resident Suhail Dedhia.On the day of incident, suddenly, an unknown person kicked the scooter, making it go off-balance and the driver stopped it. He entered into a heated argument with the other person even as Sawant waited there.

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