NCP worker's murder: Maha journo on run for 3 months held in Hyderabad

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(Eds: Adding information) Pune/Mumbai, Mar 13 (PTI) A journalist, who was on the run for the last three months in connection with the murder of a woman NCP worker in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar, was arrested from a hotel in Hyderabad on Saturday, police officials said.

Bal Bothe, who worked for a Marathidaily in Ahmednagar, was arrested in the morning. He is currently being brought to Ahmednagar, where he will beproduced in a court, they said.

NCP worker Rekha Jare (39), who headed Yashaswini Mahila Brigade, a woman's organisation, was killed at Jategaon Phata in Parner tehsil of Ahmednagar by two unidentified motorcycle-borne persons on November 30 last year when she was going from Pune to Ahmednagar in a car along with her mother, son and a friend.

According to a senior police official, Bothe is accused of hatching a conspiracy to kill Jare as he feared that she would lodge a complaint against him over some issues.

'We arrested Bothe from Hyderbad on Saturday morning in connection with the murder,' Ahmednagar Superintendent of Police Manoj Patil said.

'He was hiding in a hotel room in Hyderabad. The room was locked from outside just to show that there was nobody inside. However, our team broke open the door and apprehended Bothe,' he said.

According to Patil, six teams, comprising senior police officials, were on the lookout for Bothe, who had given slip to police three times.

Apart from Bothe, the police also made four fresh arrests in the case. While three of them were held in Hyderabad, one person was arrested in Ahmednagar, he said.

One of them is identified as Janardhan Akule, who is accused of harbouring Bothe in Hyderabad, Patil said, adding that Akule is known to have harboured several criminals in the past.

With their arrest, police have so far held 10 persons in connection with the case, he said.

Patil said that the operation (to nab Bothe and others) had been going on for the last five days. However, its preparation was on for the last one-and-a-half months after they got a tip-off.

'Our six teams of senior officials- of the rank of additional SP, deputy SP and police inspectors- had been camping in Hyderabad and were in search of Bothe,' he said.

The other accused arrested earlier in the case had told the investigators about Bothe's alleged involvement in the crime.

Based on a complaint lodged by Jare's mother, a case had been filed under IPC section 302 (murder) and 34 (common intention) against unidentified persons at Supa police station in Ahmednagar, a police official said.

In December last year, a court had denied pre- arrestbail to Bothe. PTI SPK/DC NP NP