The Pimpri Chinchwad police have arrested four people from the Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh, including notorious criminal Karan Ratan Rokde, who allegedly masterminded the killing of 21-year-old Krushna alias Sonya Haribhau Tapkir in Chikhali.
Police had initially nabbed two people in Satara district—Saurabh alias Sonya Pansare, of Moigaon in Pune’s Khed taluka, and a minor boy—who allegedly opened fire at Tapkir in Chikhali Gaon around 1.30 pm on May 22. While Pansare was arrested, the minor accused was detained as per the law and sent to an observation home earlier.
According to police, the duo committed the murder as per the instructions of Rokde (25). There was a quarrel between the assailants and Tapkir, who was becoming popular in the area, during a Dandiya function at Patil Nagar in Chikhali last year. Police said Rokde thought that Tapkir would kill him after becoming more influential, and therefore got Tapkir killed by Pansare and his minor aide.
After the murder, the accused escaped from Pune. Crime branch sleuths Mayur Dalvi, Sunil Chaudhary, Vijay Telewar, Sham Baba got information that Rokde was in Mathura, UP. A police team led by assistant inspector H V Mane went to Mathura, but they came to know that he was planning to escape to Nepal via Madhuban in Mau district.
Police then laid a trap and arrested Rokde and his aides Rutvik alias Mungya Rokde (20) and Rinku Dinesh Kumar (19), all residents of Chintamani Nagar in Chikhali, from the India–Nepal border at Madhuban on Sunday. They also nabbed another minor along with the trio.
A press release issued by DCP (crime) Swapna Gore on Monday stated that Rokde was earlier booked in 11 cases lodged at different police stations in Pune city, Pune district and Pimpri Chinchwad. Rutvik, a notorious criminal, was booked in 10 cases in the past while Rinku was booked in two cases by the Chikhali police. A court has remanded the three accused in police custody till Thursday in the Tapkir murder case.
Police said the four accused kept changing their location and stayed at Lonavala and in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and UP after the murder.
Tapkir had quit studies after Class 10 and was looking after his family’s milk business, according to police. His father died in 2015.