Palande and aide to undergo narco test

The Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Wednesday received the permission of a magistrate court to conduct a narco-analysis test on multiple murder accused Vijay Palande and his accomplice Dhananjay Shinde. The test is expected to help the police identify a third victim whose skull was found at Kumbhari Ghat near Chiplun.

The police had on April 16 recovered a human skull at the ghat where Palande had allegedly dumped Delhi-based aspiring film producer Karan Kakad's remains. However, while the DNA test of a torso found at the spot confirmed it was Kakkad's, it revealed that the skull was not his.

"Palande had confessed to the murder of Kakad and Arun Tikku, but had been denying that he killed a third person. He and Shinde have been repeatedly insisting that the skull belonged to Kakad," said a Crime Branch officer.

According to the Crime Branch officers, the two are probably denying killing a third person fearing Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999, (MCOCA) charges against them. MCOCA specifies stringent conditions for bail and is used to combat organised crime.

A magistrate court had on Tuesday extended the police custody of Palande and Shinde till August 24. Given their continuous denial of a third murder, the Crime Branch had appealed for permission for a narco-analysis test.

Apart from the narco-analysis, the police officers are leaving no stone unturned to ascertain the identity of the 25-year-old man who was allegedly killed by Palande.

"The blood sample from the spot where the skull was found has matched a sample extracted from Palande's Lokhandwala flat. This is sufficient to prove that Palande had killed the third person too," said an officer from Crime Branch Unit 9.

To trace the identity of the third victim, officers of the Crime Branch have started contacting the transgender community. Since nobody has come forward to identify the victim so far, the police are exploring the possibility of the victim being a eunuch, possibly disowned by his family. "We are exploring the angle," said a Crime Branch officer.

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