Mumbai: Days after his arrest for allegedly masterminding TV actor Anuj Tikku's father's murder, Vijay Palande, who even claimed complete innocence in the case, made a shocking confession to another murder. Palande revealed on Monday that he killed and then dumped aspiring film producer Karan Kakkar’s body, following which cops have recovered disembodied parts from the forests at Kumbharli Ghat in Chiplun near Mumbai.
While his severed head and an arm have been recovered so far, the police are now looking for the remaining parts of the body with the help of the locals and fire brigade officers. Police officers explained that they had reason to believe that the other parts of his body would be strewn in the same area. Cops at the spot shared that Palande had chopped Kakkar’s body into several parts and stuffed them in two bags that they pinched from their victim’s house. They had then travelled all the way to Chiplun in Kakkar’s BMW and dumped the bags there.
Cops had expected to retrieve Kakkar’s body from his BMW, which they retrieved in Pune on Sunday. However, when the car yielded no such evidence, they immediately started interrogating Palande, who was accompanying them. Having withheld information for three days, Palande finally divulged the point at which he had dumped his victim’s body.
Last evening, cops took Palande to the spot and recovered the fragments of Kakkar’s body. Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime) said, “On March 5, Palande and his three accomplices had killed Kakkar in his flat, and butchered his body in the bathroom. They then wiped the bathroom clean to remove all telltale blood stains, stashed the body parts in the bags and then moved them into the BMW.”
Palande claimed that he had also planned to butcher Arun Tikku in the same manner and subsequently dump the parts in the same spot. On Monday, the police sent four teams to different locations — including Pune, Satara and Ratnagiri — to recover Kakkar’s body, on the basis of ‘information’ provided to them by Palande.
Last week, Vijay Palande managed to slip out of the cops’ clutches, even after he was arrested. Even after his re-arrest, it appears that Palande has not abandoned his habit of bluffing the police. “Palande is cunning, and knows how to mislead the police. We are therefore not relying on his statements entirely,” said a police officer from the Mumbai Crime Branch.
On Sunday, cops had recovered Kakkar’s BMW car from a bungalow owned by Rahul Mane in Pune. The police officers said that Mane, who is a lawyer, had represented Palande in an earlier case. “We have not yet given a clean chit to Mane,” said an officer from Crime Branch.
Meanwhile, the Amboli police found that there are as many as six leave and licence agreements registered in Palande’s name, two of which are under his alias as Karan Sood.
Simran Sood, the 'honeytrap'
Small-time actress and model Simran Sood is also being questioned in the Kakkar murder case. She has acted in the 2004 film Smile Please with singer Devang Patel, though her first film was Anokha Anubhav in 2002.
Kakkar often used Simran Sood as bait to lure potential clients, oblivious to the fact that the femme fatale was in turn providing information about him to Vijay Palande and helping the criminal plot his murder. Police sources have revealed that Simran had ingratiated herself with Kakkar only to extract information from him about his alleged match-fixing deals and the profits he made from them. She would carefully document all of Kakkad’s dealings.
Reports also say Simran was a regular at various Page 3 and IPL parties and hobnobbed with the rich and the famous. Police said they are also probing if she was involved in match fixing.
Media reports also say the model-cum-actor was in touch with Mumbai-based stock broker Gautam Vora who came under scanner after his girlfriend, supermodel Viveka Babajee, committed suicide in June 2010. Sood's mobile records reveal that she exchanged maximum messages with Vora.
Palande eyed Kakkar's betting money
The Mumbai police investigating the murder case of aspiring film producer Karan Kakkar have stumbled upon the fact that the victim was a well-known name in the bookie world.
According to the police, Simran had informed Palande about the details of Kakkar’s dealings, and the large amounts of cash flowing in and out of his accounts. This, of course, provided sufficient motive for Palande to plan Kakkar’s murder.
“Kakkar had been dealing with a few bookies and betting large amounts of money on matches. We have learnt that the bookies knew him by the name of Prince,” said Pratap Dighavkar, DCP (zone IX).
Cops have also learnt that Palande had taken a loan of Rs 15 lakh from Kakkar, on the pretext of helping out a friend in need. In February, Simran learnt that Kakkar had nailed a deal which added crores to his coffers. Keen on acquiring the whole amount, Palande started hatching plans for the murder.
At one point, Kakkar har taken Simran to Delhi to use her as bait and crack a deal with a builder. The venture was successful. “Thanks to Simran, Palande knew that Kakkar would have at least Rs 4-5 lakh stashed in his car at any given point, so he planned to take hold of Kakkad’s BMW,” said an officer from the Crime Branch.
Cops also revealed that Kakkar would frequently liaise with several other small-time models. The police will now investigate if Kakkar had been using them too as bait for his various dubious deals. Both Palande and Simran, along with two other accomplices Manoj Jadhav and Ganesh Shinde, are in police custody.
(With inputs from MiD DAY and agencies)