Rahul Agrekar murder case: The complete story

Amar Ashok Jajoo | Dec 2, 2017 12:11

From his abduction, to his killing to the police investigation, here is the complete story of the Rahul Agrekar murder case, which shook Nagpur completely!
Police team including DCP Rahul Maknikar and DCP Sambhaji Kadam along with the culprits Pankaj Harode and Jackie Prajapati of the Rahul Agrekar murder case. (Photo by: Himanshu Pal)

The sensational Rahul Agrekar murder case came to an end yesterday when the mastermind of Rahul’s abduction and killing, Durgesh Bokde, committed suicide at a lodge in Raipur, Chhatisgarh. The police had already nabbed the other accused Pankaj Harode. The police yesterday, called a press conference in the presence of DCP Rahul Maknikar (Zone III) and DCP Sambhaji Kadam (Crime Branch), both of whom led the investigation. At the press conference, both the DCPs gave a full account of the Rahul Agrekar murder case. From Rahul’s abduction, to his killing to the police investigation, here is the complete story of the Rahul Agrekar murder case, which shook Nagpur completely!

→ Rahul Agrekar and Durgesh Bokde knew each other before hand. While Rahul was involved in his huge family lottery business, Durgesh was a petty lottery trader. Durgesh’s business had taken a hit post the implementation of GST. Durgesh had even borrowed Rs one lakh before Rahul’s abduction. Durgesh, always felt that Rahul had a lot of money and could give some money if he was threatened. So, he chalked out a plan but for executing the plan, he needed a four-wheeler, so Pankaj Harode was roped in. Both Pankaj and Durgesh were heavily in debt.

→ Durgesh explained the plan to Pankaj. The plan was never to abduct Rahul, but was infact to abduct Rahul’s elder brother Jayesh and ask for ransom from Rahul. Jayesh runs a pharmacy business and had no clue about the money from lottery business.

→ On November 9, 2017, Pankaj went to a painter with his four-wheeler (Bolero) and got a duplicate number plate made. To avoid suspicion, he got another number plate made of his car number telling the painter that the other number plate was for his friend’s car.

→ From November 9 till November 15, both Durgesh and Pankaj kept a close watch on Jayesh. Then on November 15, to execute their plan, Pankaj picked up another Bolero his relative saying that he needed it for some work. Pankaj and Durgesh drove to Jayesh’s medical store and told him that they needed to verify a RS 70,000 medical bill, which they had gotten from another medical shop. They asked Jayesh to accompany them to the medical shop to verify. Jayesh refused to go alone with Pankaj and Durgesh and told them that his co-worker will also tag along. Sensing that things were not going according to their plan, Durgesh and Pankaj left the spot and switched off their mobile phones.

→ Then on November 17, while his father was not home, Pankaj took his father’s Alto car picked up Durgesh. They now decided to run the car over Jayesh and then abduct him. While, they were on the way, they were searching for chloroform, which they couldn’t find, to make Jayesh unconscious. They then dropped the plan of abduction again.

→ On November 20, Durgesh called Pankaj and told him to keep the car ready for November 21 saying that he had convinced Rahul. Durgesh had told Rahul that he was buying a property for himself from a friend (Pankaj), of which the registry will be done on Rahul’s name in lieu of some money. He invited Rahul to see the land with him and Pankaj the day after.

→ On November 21, Pankaj woke up at 6 am  and went with his Bolero at his plot near Pili Nadi. He put on duplicate number plate and then went to pick up Durgesh. Both of them the headed towards Darodkar Square. Then using a SIM, which was never used, Durgesh called up Rahul  and asked him at the square. Rahul sat in the car and then the three of them went to Bela, where Pankaj owns an agricultural land.

→ At around 1 am, the land was shown to Rahul. Pankaj and Durgesh wanted to kill Rahul there itself but couldn’t do it as there was a labour named Hatwar present at the farm and they also couldn’t gather enough courage. All three of them then went to Butibori, had breakfast and then came back to Medical Square, Nagpur at around 11:45 am.

→ Both Pankaj and Durgesh thought that their plan had failed for the day and asked Rahul if they could show him another land on November 22 or November 23. Rahul told them that he couldn’t meet them on both the days. Realising that their plan might fail completely, Pankaj drove the Bolero on the left hand side at Medical Square near Center Point Hospital. Pankaj had brought a wooden plank and country pistol with him. He got down from the car, took out the wooden plank and hit it on Rahul’s head two times. Rahul started bleeding and tried to resist the attack. Durgesh, then took out his scarf and pushed Rahul’s neck forcefully towards the car seat. Rahul got unconscious and even vomited in the car. Pankaj then drove the car away from the Medical Square.

→ Once, out of the city limits, Pankaj and Durgesh went to a petrol pump. They bought petrol worth Rs 420 in a can. Then a bought a matchbox from a pan kiosk nearby and went to Petichuha near Butibori. Reaching a spot, they took out Rahul from the car, poured petrol on him and set him on fire and fled the spot within a minute. According to Rahul’s post mortem report, he was alive even after the blow from wooden plank. He died due to the burn injuries.

→ At around 2:08 pm, Pankaj and Durgesh made their first ransom call to Rahul’s family. They asked Jayesh to come with Rs one crore to Koradi. Then, both Pankaj and Durgesh stopped at a dhaba near Chokhar Dhani, Amravati Road, took 5-6 bottles of water and washed the blood and vomit in the car. Pankaj, then cleaned the car with his shirt and left the shirt on the spot.

→ Both the culprits still had Rahul’s belongings (his footwear, his mobile phone, his shades and other belongings). They took out Rahul’s sim from his mobile phone and inserted it in the phone Durgesh had used in the morning. Then, they went to Kanhan and disposed Rahul’s belongings there.

→ At around 4:40 pm, Rahul’s brother Jayesh and his friend Swapnil went to the Lakadganj Police Station and informed the police about the call. While, at the police station, they got the second ransom call at around 4:53 pm. Keeping in mind the previous abductions and subsequent murders (Yug Chandak murder and  Kush Kataria murder) in Lakadganj area wherein, all of the big businessmen were targeted, DCP Rahul Maknikar called in the Crime Branch team headed by DCP Sambhaji Kadam on the case as well. Nagpur Police Commissioner Dr K Ventakatesham was briefed about the case and the police started planning its strategy. They wanted to save Rahul’s life at any cost if he was alive.

→ After the first ransom call came, the police told Jayesh to do as the abductors say while it lays a trap for them. On the second ranson call, Jayesh told the abductors that he could only arrange RS 30-35 lakh. The police then told Jayesh to record if the ransom call is made again. The third call came around 7 pm and it was recorded. The abductors told Jayesh to keep the money ready by 11 pm. Jayesh was also told that they will not call again and if the money is not arranged, Rahul’s life will be in danger. Thereafter, there was no call from the abductors.

→ Meanwhile, after the third call, the police interrogated Jayesh. Jayesh felt that the voice of abductor resembled Durgesh Bokde’s voice even though it was Pankaj Harode who was making the ransom calls. The police says that Jayesh may have felt so because of the recent incidents, which happened with him. On digging further, the police also got to know that Durgesh was always in touch with Rahul and had even borrowed Rs one lakh from Rahul a few days before Rahul’s kidnapping. The police was now sure that Durgesh was the man behind the crime. It did not take much time for them to find out that Pankaj was also involved in the crime.

→ On the basis of the analysis and other technical details, the police thought that Rahul’s abductors can be in Saoner, which is 36 kms away from Nagpur. A team was sent to Saoner at around 5:15 pm to check for the various CCTV footages. The various Dhabas and lodges in the area were also checked. Pankaj and Durgesh were at Pankaj’s maternal uncle’s place from 7 pm to 10 pm. At around 11 pm, PI Khandekar visited the place only to realise that the culprits had left.

→ Durgesh and Pankaj then went to Poama, Madhya Pradesh and stayed there from 12 midnight to 5 am in the morning. Apparently, both of them had realised that the police has come to know that they had abducted Rahul. At 9:45 pm on November 21, Pankaj’s friend Swarup Pendam had called to enquire as to why there were police officials near his house. Both of them then decided to drop the plan of collecting ranson money completely and fled.

→ On November 22, a charred dead body found at Petichuha, near Butibori was sent to GMC for post mortem. The police on the basis on the remaining belonging on the body and the clothes ascertained that it must be Rahul’s dead body. Rahul’s family was informed. They denied that it was Rahul saying that the height of the dead body was more than Rahul’s height. After his cremation on November 23, the DNA report came, which established the fact that it was indeed Rahul’s body. The police also got to know that a farmer had seen the body at around 4 pm on November 21, which mad them realize that Rahul may have been killed even before the first ransom call.

From his abduction, to his killing to the police investigation, here is the complete story of the Rahul Agrekar murder case, which shook Nagpur completely!
DCP Rahul Maknikar and DCP Sambhaji Kadam at the press conference relating to Rahul Agrekar murder case. (Photo by: Himanshu Pal)

→ Desperate to catch the culprits now, the police now started operating in two teams. People who knew Durgesh and Pankaj were interrogated and both of their social media profiles (Facebook and Whatsapp) were scanned. Based on all the details, the police made a list of the places, both of the culprits could hide at. The people with whom the police were talking to were told to inform the police if they come to know about the whereabouts of Pankaj and Durgesh.

→ Meanwhile, after leaving Poama, Durgesh and Pankaj went to Pankaj’s relative’s place in Narsinghpur, Madhya Pradesh. They told Jackie Prajapti, Pankaj’s relative’ that they had committed a crime. Pankaj told Jackie to take his Bolero and leave it at his plot at Pili Nadi, Nagpur. Pankaj also gave Jackie the country pistol he was carrying. Jackie was subsequently arrested by Nagpur Police later. He was booked under section 201 for concealing the weapon and the hiding the information about the crime.

→ At Narsinghpur, Pankaj sent a friend of Jackie’s to the ATM with a relative’s debit card. RS 10,000 were withdrawn for the culprits from the ATM, who then headed towards Ujjain. They thought of going to Surat thinking that they might get some kind of work to survive. So, they went to Indore thinking that there are a lot of commute options to Surat from Indore. When they reached Indore, there was a fair oragnsied nearby and so there was a lot of police bandobast. Now scared, they went to Ujjain again. On reaching Ujjain, both Pankaj and Durgesh realized that the police bandobast might not be for them, so they went to Indore again on the same day. Then they boarded a night bus to Surat from Indore.

→ On reaching Surat, Pankaj’s friend, whom he thought might help them, didn’t pick up his call. So the duo spent the night in the same bus they had travelled in from Indore and returned to Indore the next day and then to Ujjain. They then stayed at a lodge near Mahakaleshwar temple. Pankaj even went to the temple to seek blessings.

→ Then they went to Indore again thinking that Durgesh’s friend Puran Singh in Jharkhand might help them. They boarded a Howrah train from Indore. While in the train, Durgesh called Puran Singh from a fellow passenger’s phone. Puran Singh told them that the police had reached Jharkhand in search of them. Now, nowhere to go, the duo went to Howrah.

→ Both Pankaj and Durgesh were short of money now. Pankaj even though of surrendering himself and this led to a fight between the two. Durgesh told Pankaj that he would rather commit suicide than surrender to the police. Pankaj, now felt that he needed to speak to his family. He called his family from a passersby’s cell phone. The police which had the family’s phone on survelliance tracked down Pankaj and he was nabbed from a lodge in Kolkata on November 29. Durgesh, however, managed to escape.

→ During Pankaj’s interrogation, it was revealed by him that Durgesh was the mastermind of the plan and that the abduction was done out of greed for money. Durgesh, meanwhile, checked in at Gupta Lodge in Raipur, Chattisgarh on November 28 and even gave his Aadhar card. Short of money, he mortgaged his mobile phone at a mobile shop for Rs 5,000. When the mobile shop owner, asked for a proof that the phone was indeed his and not stolen, Durgesh called up his friend Ajay Kesharwani in Kanhan.

→ Durgesh had told the manager at the lodge that he would be checking out on November 30. When he did not check out, the Ganj Police was called in, who then found Durgesh’s body hanging from the ceiling fan. No suicide note was found near his body.

→ The police has informed that Rahul, also doubled up as a bookie and had crores of rupees in his Bank of India account.