One 61-year-old Right to Information (RTI) activist was shot dead at his residence in Rajjak Chawl of Kalina, Santa Cruz (East) on Saturday late evening when he was watching television. The injured activist, Bhupendra Vira, was immediately taken to nearby VM Desai hospital where he was brought dead.
Property dispute could be the reason behind his murder as Vira was an anti-encroachment activist and had raised several issues against local mafia and ex-corporator, said deceased’s neighbour who did not wish to be named.
Bhupendra is survived by his wife, two sons Rohit (32) and Mayur (36) and daughter Khushboo. Rohit is into construction business and stays in Bengaluru, whereas Mayur stays in Goa with his wife.
His family and friends made beeline at Kalina to express remorse.
“My father-in-law (deceased) has registered several Non Cognisable cases against ex-corporator Rajjak Khan with whom we are fighting legal battle over a property in Kalina. Around six years ago, the ex-corporator had illegally taken away our shop. I am confident that he is behind the murder of my father-in-law,” said Sheela Vira, wife of Mayur – deceased’s elder son, who stays in Goa.
“All the copies of NCs, registered against Rajjak Khan, are kept in my father-in-law’s room which has now been sealed by police after his murder,” said Sheela.
The deceased had managed to procure demolition orders from the BMC in connection with illegal structures in Kalina. “Had the police and BMC officials taken the initiative at right time Bhupendra Vira would have been alive,” said Sheela.
“My mother told me that she was in bathroom to change her cloth when the murder(s) entered his room and fired. She could not hear sound of fire,” said Rohit, who flew to Mumbai on Sunday from Bengaluru after hearing the shocking the incident.
“A case of murder against unknown persons has been registered at Vakola police station,” said police.