Mumbai: In a major breakthrough, police on Monday claimed to have collected evidence to show that Vijay Palande, gangster and key accused in sensational murder cases, had coaxed Bollywood actor Anuj Tikku to pen down a suicide note after drugging him in a bid to eliminate him and then stage it as a suicide.
The suicide note, purportedly written by Anuj Tikku, was recovered from the bank locker of Palande, police said, adding that the accused had planned to kill Anuj after murdering his father and Delhi-based businessman Arun Kumar Tikku with an intention to usurp the latter`s prime property in Lokhandwala area of suburban Oshiwara here.
Arun Kumar Tikku was found murdered in the bathroom of his first floor 3-bedroom apartment in Lokhandwala Complex here on April 7. His body bore six to eight stab wounds on the abdomen and a computer chord was also tied around his neck.
Palande, Dhananjay Shinde and Manoj Gajkosh, all former associates of gangster Santosh Shetty, were nabbed on April 10 in connection with the murder.
Palande, who introduced himself as Karan Sood, had first met the victim`s actor-son Anuj through starlet Simran Sood. Palande had told Anuj that Sood was his sister.
Preliminary probe had suggested that the trio had conspired to take hold of the three flats of the deceased in a high-rise building in the posh Lokhandwala area, police said.
"A suicide note has been recovered from Palande`s bank locker. Going by the handwriting, it was written by Anuj. Palande had drugged Tikku and coaxed him to write the note stating nobody should be held responsible for his death," said a police officer.
The plan was to kill Anuj and then orchestrate it as a suicide after killing his father, police said, adding that "After the Arun kumar killing, Palande did not murder Anuj as his plan did not go well."
Meanwhile, Palande and his associates had, on March 5, abducted a wannabe film producer Karankumar Kakkad (28), a resident of Delhi, who wanted to try his luck in the film industry.
Initially, a missing person`s case was registered in Amboli police station here following a complaint by Kakkad`s brother Aneesh. However, it was later changed to an abduction case, after the arrest of Sood on April 12. As the probe progressed, the gangsters` role surfaced in the crime.