Mumbai, Apr 11: Vijay Palande, the man who gave the top brass of Mumbai Police daytime nightmares on Tuesday, today created a drama outside the Andheri court when he was being produced before the magistrate.
Palande and the other accused were being taken to the court with their faces covered, when the former suddenly whipped off his face covering and told waiting mediapersons that he wa sbeing framed by the police in the Tikkoo murder case.
Palande also told the magistrate inside the court that he was being framed by Mumbai Police and claimed innocence.
Palande's lawyer Divakar Sharma told mediapersons that his client had not escaped from police custody on Tuesday, but was in fact in the custody of Crime Branch.
The court however sent Palande and the other accused Manoj Gajkosh to police custody till April 23, while the third accused Dhananjay Shinde, who has agreed to become approver has been sent to judicial custody till April 13.
On Tuesday, Palande had 'escaped' from police custody five hours after he was nabbed for the sensational murder. He calmly walked out a police car and escaped, even as the top Mumbai police brass was holding a press conference.
Palande's escape caused red faces among the top brass of Mumbai Police. He was however re-arrested late on Tuesday night from Lokhandwala.
Prem Shukla, editor of Hindi daily Saamna, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece, said Palande, after his escape tried to take shelter at Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam's office in Lokhandwala, but his efforts proved futile. Shukla says, Palande was close to Nirupam for the last several years.
Earlier in the day, Palande,who was the brain behind the murder of Delhi-based businessmen Arun Tikkoo in his plush Oshiwara apartment on April 7,gave cops the slip when he was taken to the Crime Branchs Unit 8 office in Oshiwara with his two associates after the press conference.
He made good his escape just minutes after the Scorpio car he was being carried in entered the front yard of Unit 8 office at Teli Galli.
The policemen escorting him had just stepped out of the car and were chatting when Palande opened the rear door and quietly walked out.
This threw the entire crime Branch into a tizzy and a frantic operation began to nab Palande again.
Palande's escape was a big embarrassment for Mumbai police.
The other two accused in the case Dhananjay Shinde and Manoj Gajkosh too had managed to escape after killing Tikkoo despite being locked in the Oshiwara flat by the neighbours.
While one theory has it that they jumped out of the bedroom window of the first-floor flat,the other refers to a pipe duct they used to slip out.
Police believe Vijay Palande,alias Karan Sood,ordered Shinde and Gajkosh to kill Tikkoo so that he could take control of the latters 15,000 square feet flat in Samarth Aangan Society,Oshiwara.
Palande had developed close friendship with Tikoo's son Anuj, a small-time actor, and had recently convinced him to take Shinde and Gajkosh as paying guests in the apartment.
Palande,and the two accused were in separate cars when the former escaped.
All the three men Palande, Shinde and Gajkosh are former associates of the Santosh Shetty gang.
In 2000,Palande was arrested for the murders of an Air India union leader and his father. Later,he was lodged in Nashik Jail,where he got acquainted with gangster Shetty.The other two suspects went to Bangkok to work for Shettys gang in 2010.