In a gruesome murder that took place in the coastal area of Candolim in North Goa on Tuesday, a night club owner was killed by a person over an issue related to the deceased’s motorcycle, which was taken by the accused without the deceased’s permission, reports the Nav Hind Times.
However, sources told IndiaScoops.com that the real reason for the murder was different and the accused were harboring a grudge against the deceased for a long time, over a monetary dispute.
The deceased owned money to a tune of about Rs 5 lakh to the the accused person/s as settlement over a prostitution racket and was not ready to clear the dues, say police sources.
North Goa superintendent of police (SP) Chandan Choudhary said that prima facie it appeared that the reason for the murder was a two-wheeler belonging to Singh that Rathod had stolen. However, the exact motive behind the murder would only be revealed once the duo were interrogated, Choudhary said, according to a Times of India report.
Police sources said that, in Goa, Rathod lived in Nerul while his friend Dayashankar lived in Calangute. “Rathod used to get customers for Singh’s hotels. He was not officially employed by Singh,” Choudhary said.
Police said that many touts worked for Singh and that they would get customers for the hotel. Police alleged that several illegalities were being committed at the hotel, including the operating of an alleged illegal disco, which would also double up as a pick-up joint for escorts and call girls.
The call-girl racket was flourishing at Singh’s hotel, but Singh was not a good paymaster, sources claimed.
The touts would get clients for the girls, particularly those coming in from Punjab and other parts of North India.
Vishwajit Singh was running the Night Club Royal Mirage without the required NOC (no-objection certificate) and locals had brought this to the notice of the village panchayat several times during the gram sabhas.
They had also informed the panchayat about illegal activities going on in the night club. Locals alleged that prostitution racket was going on in the club and added that tourists were often lured to the club and even beaten up by bouncers but no action was taken due to political connections, reports NT.
Prostitution racket was being run at the Royal Mirage nightclub and local as well as Russian escorts and call girls were provided to customers, most of them from North India. The club handled the deals directly, and was given protection by the local BJP MLA Michael Lobo, claimed a local resident.
According to Calangute police, the murder of Singh, aged 41, occurred around 2 am on Tuesday at his residence in the basement area of Sun and Sand Apartment at Bamon waddo in Candolim.
Within hours, the accused were arrested by Karnataka police in Gadag in the neighbouring state. A Goa police team has left for Gadag to obtain custody of the accused.
Police said that Singh had lodged a complaint with the Calangute police against one of his employees Umesh Rathod over his bike which was taken by Rathod without Singh’s knowledge. Sources said Rathod took the bike as Singh was not ready to settle his dues.
In his complaint, Singh had stated that Rathod had taken his Bullet motorcycle and did not return it even after three days. Upon learning that Singh had lodged a complaint against him, Rathod got furious and questioned Singh about it.
In the wee hours of Tuesday, Rathod, along with a friend Dayashankar, armed with knives and swords went to Singh’s residence on the motorcycle and murdered Singh in the basement of the building. He stabbed him at four places in the chest and stomach. The crime was recorded on a CCTV camera installed in the apartment basement.
The accused, police said, went to Sun and Sand apartments in Candolim where Singh lived and waited for him to return from work. “As soon as Singh got out of his car, one of the accused stabbed him with a sword. Singh ran, but he fell after about 50m and the accused stabbed him again before fleeing,” Calangute PI Jivba Dalvi told the Times of India.
The incident was witnessed by the watchman, who raised an alarm. “Singh’s friends arrived at the spot and shifted him to the Candolim primary health centre, where he was declared dead,” Dalvi said.
Singh was rushed to the Candolim primary health centre where he was declared brought dead. Rathod was an employee of Singh since the last three years.
Soon after receiving a call, police rushed to the crime scene. Forensic, cyber and finger print experts were pressed into service. Upon viewing the CCTV footage and following the recorded statements, police came to a conclusion that two persons were involved in the murder and that the accused were natives of Gadag in Karnataka.
Superintendent of Police, North, Chandan Chowdhary subsequently contacted the Gadag police and shared the details of the accused following which both the accused were nabbed by the Karnataka police.
Calangute police have registered the case under Section 302 r/w 34 of Indian Penal Code. Further investigation into the case is in progress under police inspector Jivba Dalvi.
Meanwhile, Sarpanch of Candolim Village Panchayat Blaize Fernandes told NavHind Times that the village panchayat has not provided any NOC to the night club and that the owner was running it armed with a stay order from the court.
Former Calangute Congress MLA Agnelo Fernandes has alleged that nefarious activities are going on in the night club area and that authorities are not acting, due to support by the local BJP MLA Michael Lobo.
Local sources and residents said Singh was discreetly supported by the local MLA Michael Lobo who was protecting him and allowed the illegal night club to function because he was given regular bribes or haftas. IndiaScoops.com could not individually verify these allegations.
According to the Times of India, Calangute MLA and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo said that he had complained to the CM to take strict action against the illegalities in the hotel.
But locals say, Lobo was not serious about shutting down Singh’s business as he was getting regular hafta. The complaints against the hotel were just an eyewash to serve two purposes. Firstly to show his voters that he was acting against the flesh trade and secondly to force Singh into paying him more.