Cops probing 'possible' underworld link in builder murder case

City police crime branch is probing the possibility of underworld link in the murder of Navi Mumbai-based builder S K Loharia, even as search was launched for suspect Suresh Bijlani, a builder whose bail was rejected by the Bombay High Court today.

"We are also working to find out the possible role of underworld in this case," a police officer said responding to a query.

Crime branch has launched a hunt for Bijlani, whose anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the high court earlier today, police said. The investigators had submitted a sealed file with information, pointing to his role in the case.

According to police, the arrested accused Emmanuel Amolik (62), a retired police inspector and former "encounter specialist", had been in touch with Bijlani before and after the murder.

Loharia (50) was gunned down by two assailants outside his office at Vashi in neighbouring Navi Mumbai on February 16. Locals had caught one of the assailants, Vishwakarma Shettiar (35), from the spot, while the other, Wazid Qureshi (28), was later arrested from his home at Mumbra town in Thane district.

The next day, Amolik was arrested for allegedly ordering The killing of the builder, police said.

Investigators said they wanted to interrogate Bijlani and his architect Anil Garg, who has been facing allegations of being part of the group involved in Loharia's murder by the victim's family.

Apart from Bijlani and Garg, there are some more people, who also face such allegations. "All those facing the allegations would be interrogated," the official said.

According to police, the assailants had carried out recce five days before the murder. The revolver and the knife were given to the killers by Amolik.
"The killers were supposed to meet Amolik at a place, which is five km away from the crime scene. But they could not as their plan went awry. Amolik had also telephoned Bijlani after the killing," the officer said.

"Amolik has taken full responsibility for the killing but the probe indicated the involvement of some more people and we want to interrogate as many people as possible in this case," he added.

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