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Not enough witnesses against Palande, Simran?

Not enough witnesses against Palande, Simran?

15 witnesses have so far given statements against the two accused in the murders of Arun Tikku and Karan Kakkar.

Mumbai: Mumbai Crime Branch officers fear that they don’t yet have a sufficient number of eyewitnesses to build a rock-solid case against the four accused — Vijay Palande, Simran Sood, Manoj Gajkosh and Dhanjay Shinde — in the double murder cases of Karan Kakkar and Arun Tikku.

Officers of the department revealed that they have secured 15 witnesses for both the cases, which they believe is an insufficient number. They are now looking for more witnesses against the accused, to make their case stronger. “We are tracing more witnesses in both the cases, to nail Palande and Sood,” said an officer.

Sood, who had been held for her involvement in the Karan Kakkar murder case, was arrested on Friday for her suspected role in the murder of Delhi-based businessman Tikku. Crime Branch sources also accepted that Palande and his accomplices were hardened criminals who had left very little evidence in their wake, making it difficult for cops to put together a sufficiently strong body of evidence.

After the duration of her police custody for the Kakkar murder case came to an end on Friday, Sood was produced in court. The magistrate remanded her in police custody till May 10 for her involvement in the Tikku murder case.

Honey trap

Crime Branch officers confirmed that Sood had accompanied Palande and Anuj Tikku to the Chiplun farmhouse where Anuj was kept captive, after his drink was spiked. “Sood’s involvement has been established in both the murders and we are now investigating her exact role in the actual crime,” said a Crime Branch officer. Cops added that they weren’t ruling out more arrests in the case.

Flesh racket

In another shocking revelation related to the murders, officers exposed that prior to his murder, Kakkar ran a prostitution racket in Mumbai. Meanwhile, Palande, who was initially arrested for the murder of Delhi-based businessman Tikku, was also remanded to police custody till May 10 for the Kakkar murder case.

Palande was arrested on April 10 for the April 7 murder of 67-year-old Tikku. On the same day, he had escaped from police custody before being re-arrested hours later. The court also extended the period of police custody for Palande’s two accomplices Gajkosh and Shinde till May 10.