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Murder accused caught after escape from police custody

April 11, 2012 16:25 IST

One of the three accused, who had escaped from the custody of police on Tuesday night, hours after his arrest on the charge of murdering a businessman from Delhi, has been caught from the city, police said on Wednesday.

"Vijay Palande, who escaped last night from Andheri's crime branch unit's custody, has been caught from the city. A slight carelessness led to his escape, but a massive manhunt had been launched immediately after his slip. Our efforts yielded results, as Palande was successfully nabbed," said a crime branch official.

On Tuesday three accused Palande, Dhananjay Shinde and Manoj Gajkosh, who are former members of underworld don Santosh Shetty's gang, were arrested from different locations for allegedly killing businessman Arunkumar Tikku, 62, police said, adding the preliminary probe suggested the accused had conspired to grab three flats of the deceased in the high-rise building at posh Lokhandwala area.

Arunkumar was found murdered in the bathroom of his first floor three-bedroom apartment in Lokhandwala Complex late on Saturday night. The sexagenarian bore six to eight stab wounds on his abdomen and a computer cord was also tied around his neck.

Hours before the murder, the victim's actor son Anuj was taken out under the pretext of visiting a casino in Goa by Palande, while two other accused Shinde and Gajkosh executed the pre-planned murder, police said.

Anuj is being questioned and police has not yet given him a clean chit, sources said adding that the role of Palande's German wife, who is currently not in India, was also being probed.

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