Crime Banch special investigation team to probe Lohariya murder

The Mumbai police crime branch has formed a special team to investigate the murder of builder Sunil Kumar Lohariya, who was gunned down in broad daylight by two assassins, allegedly at the behest of retired police inspector Emmanuel Amolik last week.

The case was transferred to the Mumbai crime branch on Wednesday following an order from the home department.

"A special team under senior inspector Ramesh Mahale will investigate the case. Our officers are in Navi Mumbai at the moment and our priority is to interrogate the three arrested accused. As their custody expires on Friday, we will be seeking an extension for it. We will also look into allegations of some other being the actual brains behind the murder," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Himanshu Roy.

Crime Branch officials said the team would comprise officers from units I, II, III and VIII of the crime branch.

Lohariya's family has been demanding that the Mumbai Crime Branch investigate the case, alleging that the Navi Mumbai police has been shielding the "real accused". Based on the family's complaint, the police booked businessman Suresh Bijlani, architect Anurag Garg, builder Vijay Gajra and three others from the construction business in the case. Bijlani and Garg had applied for anticipatory bail on Wednesday, but their applications were rejected by the court.

"I'm confident that the Mumbai crime branch will be able to deliver justice to my family," said Lohariya's son, Sandeep.

The Turbhe police on Tuesday also registered a non cognisable complaint against Bijlani for allegedly making a threatening call to Lohariya's brother Sanjeev. "If it has any relevance to the murder, we will investigate that as well," Roy said.

Sandhya murder case: Re-recording of statements begins

Meanwhile, the crime branch on Thursday began re-recording statements of all those concerned with the disappearance and subsequent murder of Navi Mumbai resident Sandhya Singh. The case was also transferred from Navi Mumbai police to Mumbai Crime Branch earlier this month.

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