Navi Mumbai builder stabbed, shot dead in broad daylight

In a daring crime in broad daylight, a builder was stabbed multiple times and then shot from close range outside his office in sector 29 along Kopar Khairane Road in Navi Mumbai at 8.30 am Saturday.

Sunil Kumar, who owned SK Builders and stayed in sector 18, Sanpada, was walking to office after parking his BMW when two men, one of them dressed as a security guard, attacked him.

Eyewitness said one assailant was holding a wooden stool and the other had a coconut and a marigold garland in his hands.

CCTV footage shows the two stopping Kumar and one smashing a coconut on his head. After Kumar lost his balance, one of the assailants stabbed him in the chest and stomach with a knife.

"As Kumar began bleeding, the second assailant pumped five bullets into him from a pistol," said Purushottam Karad, DCP (zone 1) Navi Mumbai. The two then spread the garland on the bleeding builder and tried to flee on a motorcycle.

Meanwhile, the gunshots had alerted a few neighbours and passersby who chased them and pulled the pillion rider, later identified as Venkatesh Shettiyar (35), down, while the rider managed to speed away.

The locals then beat up Shettiyar till he fell unconscious. They rushed Kumar to hospital but he died during treatment.

"We arrested Shettiyar (from Navi Mumbai Municipal Hospital, where he was being treated) and are looking for his accomplice," Karad said.

Police said smashing coconut was a ritual of some south Indian gangs operating in Navi Mumbai.

Investigating officers said Kumar was involved in several land deals in Navi Mumbai and also had several businesses in Mumbai and Delhi.

Sources said the motive behind the murder could be professional rivalry as Kumar used to file RTI pleas seeking information on deals of other builders and extort money.

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