Waiter held for killing colleagues at bar

Pradeep Sonavade

vidyavihar triple murders: Accused wanted to avenge harassment by co-workers, say police

Tilak Nagar police on Sunday arrested a 21-year-old waiter from Girgaum for allegedly killing his colleagues who worked in a bar in Vidyavihar. Police said the accused, Pradeep Rajaram Sonavade, committed the crime because his colleagues had been harassing him.

Vasant Mudira (30), a sweeper, Bhaskar Dalvi (54), a watchman and Raja Dakholia (33), a waiter — all employees of of Nataraj bar in Vidyavihar — were found murdered on Saturday morning. Late on Saturday evening a team of police officers from Tilak Nagar police station left to nab an employee of the same bar who was suspected to have killed the three over a personal row.

Police said Sonavade, who hails from Yavatmal, had come to Mumbai two years ago. He had been employed at the bar for the past month-and-a-half.

Police said Sonavade's seniors, particularly Dakholia, would often rag and harass him. Frustrated at the treatment meted out to him, Sonavade plotted to take revenge and killed Dakholia first. "As Mudira and Dalvi slept in the same room as Dakholia, Sonavade decided to kill them, too, to avoid being identified," Quaiser Khalid, additional commissioner of police (eastern region) said.

Police said the needle of suspicion pointed to Sonavade as he left for his village without informing anyone at the bar. He switched off his phone despite the police asking the bar's employees to the police station after the murders occurred.

Police traced Sonavade to Girgaum and found him in an inebriated state. "Sonavade has been booked for murder under section 302 of the IPC. He has been remanded in police custody till January 11," said Khalid.

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