Three persons have been arrested for allegedly killing a 42-year-old truck driver near Bhiwandi in the district after he refused to sell in a flea market the raw iron being carried in the vehicle, police said today. After the incident that took place three weeks back, the accused trio, including the cleaner of the truck, had dumped the victim's body in Kasara ghat in the district, police said. The driver was identified as Mahendrapratap Santpratap Singh alias Thakur, police said. The accused trio- truck cleaner Vasim Khan, and two others- Shankar Chowdhary and Salauddin Shamshuddin Shaikh- were arrested from the district two days back, they added. "On August 14, the victim had loaded the consignment of raw iron from Jalna district in Maharashtra into the truck to be delivered to Taloja in Navi Mumbai. En route the cleaner got a call from two other accused, wherein they planned that they would ask the driver to sell the consignment at chor bazaar (flea market)," inspector Vilas Chowgule of Bhiwandi taluka police station said. "Accordingly, when the truck arrived at an eatery at Kasara the next morning, the Chowdhary and Shaikh met them for tea. They asked the driver to sell off the consignment at chor bazaar, which he flatly refused," he said. Thereafter, Chowdhary and Shaikh also got onto the truck. When the truck was passing through the Padgha toll naka and proceeding towards Vadpe Naka within the limits of the Bhiwandi taluka police station, the cleaner and the other accused stranguled the driver to death with the help of a scarf.
The trio then dumped the body in the bushes and fled from the scene," police said. Next day (August 16), the owner of the truck registered a missing person's complaint with Valiv police station in Palghar district rural police. During the police probe, the episode came to light, Chowgule said. The trio has been booked under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender). Based on the information provided by the cleaner, the police visited the spot where the victim's body was dumped. The highly decomposed body was recovered from the site, he said.
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