CASE FILE: Rajendra Chaturvedi was arrested for allegedly plotting to kill rival Rashmikant Shah
Builder Chaturvedi’s Case Has Police Force Divided; CID To Take Over Probe
S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: The probe into the rivalry between two city builders, which resulted in one of them landing behind bars, is revealing conflicting stories. The case will be handed over to the state CID once the police receives an order from the home department, said an officer.
Questions are being raised about the arrest of developer Rajendra Chaturvedi, who was accused of hiring four gangsters to bump off his rival. The police claimed Chaturvedi had paid Rs 12.5 lakh to four gangsters for killing rival builder Rashmikant Shah of the Vijay group. The police had said Shah and Chaturvedi were at loggerheads over the redevelopment rights to a plot worth Rs 500 crore in Kalachowkie. However, some within the force feel the case is a frame-up.
A confidential report submitted by the investigating officer, assistant commissioner of police (Juhu Division) S G Nimgaonkar, to senior inspector of Juhu police, Pradeep Shinde, had even said, “Are you satisfied the accused Wadkar is not planted by Shah? Collect the evidence of each accused and find out if they were arrested earlier under the Organised Crime Act...Record the statement of Shah.’’ But the senior inspector is yet to record Shah’s statement, it is learnt. When TOI called him, Shinde wanted to be called on another number, but didn’t take the call.
Chaturvedi told TOI he had repeatedly stressed his innocence during questioning. He said he had told the assistant commissioner of police (Bandra division), Subhash Deshmukh that he never paid anyone this amount. “The ACP checked my bank statement and found there was no withdrawal of this money from my personal account or company account. In fact, one of the four gangsters, Vijay Wadkar, had even told the same ACP that this money was paid by Shah,’’ said Chaturvedi.
Police officials are reluctant to comment. Deputy commissioner of police, Vinay Chaube said, “I don’t have details with me. You come to my office, I will tell you everything in detail.’’ Additional Commissioner of Police (west region) Bipin Bihari, who is heading the investigation, is on leave and will return only in the first week of May. It is learnt that police chief D N Jadhav had summoned two investigating officers for a briefing following media reports.
The Times of India, April 30, 2007