Ex-cop held for murder of builder

MUMBAI - A former ‘encounter specialist,’ cop, who had also been suspended in the past for his links to the underworld, was arrested on Sunday in Navi Mumbai in connection with the daylight killing of a builder.


Nithin Belle

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Published: Tue 19 Feb 2013, 12:15 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:31 PM

Samuel Amolik, the former police officer, was charged with murder and conspiracy and remanded to police custody, A K Sharma, Navi Mumbai’s police commissioner, told reporters. Amolik had been suspended about 10 years ago for his alleged links to the underworld, but had been reinstated later. He retired from service about two years ago.

On Saturday morning, two men on a motorcycle attacked Sunil Kumar Loharia, a developer, outside his Vashi office, as he stepped out of his BMW. Initially they stabbed him and later shot him. CCTV cameras outside the office had captured the entire incident.

The two assailants were attacked by security guards from the developer’s office and members of the public. One of them, Venkatesh Shettiar, was caught and thrashed and later handed over to the police, while the other escaped. Shettiar later told the police that Amolik had entrusted him the contract to kill Loharia. The police also traced calls made by Amolik to Shettiar. According to sources, several local politicians and builders were interested in eliminating Loharia, who has in the past filed several cases against other developers in Navi Mumbai. He has also been filing applications under the Right to Information (RTI) act to ferret out information about land deals in Mumbai’s satellite city.

Police believe business rivalry led to the killing of Loharia. His family members have refused to cremate his body, claiming that they will carry out the last rites only after the police arrest all those involved in the conspiracy to kill him. In 2003, a court in Kalyan had ordered the arrest of Amolik for the ‘fake encounter’ death of a gangster in Ulhasnagar. Amolik had in 1992 killed Baban Koiyande, a gangster in an encounter. He has killed about 40 people, accused of being criminals, in encounters.

Several police officers in Mumbai had been dubbed ‘encounter specialists’ in the past. These cops had eliminated several criminals. But human rights activists accused the cops of staging fake encounters and even taking contracts from other gangsters to bump off their rivals.Encounter killings have now come to a virtual halt in Mumbai, especially after the courts have taken a stern view to such incidents.


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