Matka king killing: Court remands wife, son among three to custody

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Mumbai, Jul 10 (UNI) A special court today remanded three accused persons to police custody till July 16 for their alleged role in a criminal conspiracy to eliminate ''Matka king'' Suresh Bhagat in an orchestrated road accident last month to get control over his business.

The three included Suresh's wife Jaya Bhagat, their son Hitesh Bhagat and Kiran Poojari, who is also engaged in matka operations.

Jaya was arrested from her residence at Ghatkopar recently.

Hitesh was arrested on Tuesday from Goa, while Poojari was arrested earlier this month.

The trio was today booked under stringent Maharashtra Control for Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and later produced before Judge Y D Shinde, who remanded them to custody till July 16.

According to top crime branch officials, the three were booked for their involvement in conspiracy to kill Suresh to gain control over his thriving matka business, and thus get financial benefit out of it.

Crime Branch sleuths had recovered Rs 23.50 lakh from co-accused Harish Rama Manjrekar and Rs 11 lakh from Hitesh at the time of his arrest in Goa. He had taken part in the criminal conspiracy to kill his father, which was chalked out between his mother Jaya, co-accused and contract killers early this year.

Manjrekar had allegedly awarded a ''supari'' (contract) to a driver, Pravin Shetty, to run over and kill Suresh and make the murder appear as a road accident.

Manjrekar was allegedly hired by one Suhas Roge to commit the crime, for which the latter had paid Rs 45 lakh. The motive behind the murder was to gain control over the entire ''matka'' business.

Roge and Jaya were handling only the business at Kalyan, a distant suburb in neighbouring Thane district.

Last month, Suresh's vehicle was met with an accident, while returning to Mumbai from Alibaug where he gone to attend court proceedings against him.

In the well planned acciudent, Suresh's vehicle was rammed by a truck head-on, killing him and six others on the spot.

However, around three weeks before the incident, Suresh had filed a complaint saying that he feared a threat to his life.


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