Aurangabad/Nashik: In a joint operation, Nashik and Aurangabad police teams on Friday arrested nine suspects in Thursday’s attempt to murder case as well as an earlier murder case in Nashik city. All the arrested suspects hail from Nashik.
Four of the suspects were nabbed from Hotel Jagdamba at API corner on the busy Jalna road while the remaining five from a rented bungalow in the Brijwadi area, Aurangabad police said.
Sandeep Laad (29), a trader at the Nashik Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), was shot at by four men from point blank range in front of a restaurant along the Peth road around 2.45 pm on Thursday.
The bullet, fired from a country made pistol, landed on the right side of Laad’s chest. He was admitted to a hospital where his condition was stated to be out of danger.
Senior police inspector Dinesh Bardekar of the Panchavati police station (Nashik) said the suspects, including Shekhar Nikam, brother of criminal Kiran Nikam who was brutally murdered on May 18, were being brought to Nashik.
Soon after the shooting on Thursday, Nashik police had registered an offence of attempt to murder and extortion against four suspects — brothers Shekhar and Ketan Nikam, Sandeep Pagare and Vishal Bhalerao, all residents of Panchavati. Pagare was arrested around 11 pm on Thursday itself.
According to Nashik police, Laad was being threatened by Shekhar Nikam and his associates as he was not paying them extortion money. A police source revealed that Laad belonged to the rival gang which killed Kiran Nikam and Thursday’s was a revenge attack. Both the parties do business, including lending money on interest for trading, at the APMC, the source said.
Panchavati police said Shekhar Nikam, who was nabbed in Aurangabad on Friday, was also wanted in the murder of a 16-year-old boy from Kasara, Tushar Sabale, over mistaken identity on May 25.
According to police, Shekhar Nikam was looking for one Bandu Murtadak, who was booked by Panchavati police for the murder of his brother Kiran. Shekhar got information that Bandu was hiding in the Upnagar area, following which he sent four of his four associates to to kill him. However, Tushar Sable became their target as they mistook him for Bandu. Tushar was in the city to attend one of his relative’s marriage.