Mumbai: Pradeep Chavan (24) took great pains to make certain that his crime went undetected.
He filled up his victim with alcohol, took him deep into the jungle where even forest department officials rarely venture, then smashed his face in with a rock and left.
He overlooked one little thing though: a scrap of paper with his name and mobile number on it, that his prey had carried with him.
The murder took place on January 9. The accused, Pradeep, was having a relationship with the wife of the victim, Rakesh Chavan (32). The alleged assassin, a painting contractor by profession, is the cousin of the victim. They resided in Bihar till two years ago.
According to police officials, Rakesh was an alcoholic and tortured his wife regularly. He did not even give her money for daily expenses and harassed her in various ways.
The woman discussed this with Pradeep while he was in Bihar, after which Pradeep started providing her financial help from time to time.
The two very soon got into a romantic relationship. Then, Pradeep moved to Chennai for work, while Rakesh came to Mumbai and his wife stayed back in Bihar.
"As the relationship grew stronger, Pradeep decided to kill Rakesh and remove the only obstacle in the way. The accused came to Mumbai on January 9. He called Rakesh for drinks and made him consume a lot of alcohol," said senior inspector Subhash Dafle of Kurar police station, in Malad (East).
Pradeep told Rakesh that he had hidden a lot of cash in the forest at Malad.
Dafle added, "Pradeep took him to such a core area where even the forest department finds it difficult to go. Here, he killed Rakesh with a huge stone."
On January 24, a patrolling team of the forest department detected a sharp stench. They found a body, almost completely decomposed, after which the Kurar police was informed.
"Because of the state of the body, there was no way the person could be identified. Also, there was no missing complaint for the victim. However, we found a yellow paper on which the name 'Pradeep' was scribbled, with a contact number. We dispatched a team and zeroed in on the accused. Pradeep had escaped from Chennai, and had moved to Bihar. After four days of efforts, we nabbed him. He has been remanded in custody."