2 months on, karate champ's body found in Pune forest

Malshej locals find decomposed body of Indrajeet Mokashi on March 23; in his last call to father, he said, “Truck has hit my car from behind, come with an ambulance”

The Mokashis had been grasping at straws for over three months since their son, Indrajeet, went missing under mysterious circumstances. On Wednesday, their lives came crashing down with a sense of finality as the decomposed body of the renowned karate champ was found just 2 km from Malshej Ghat near Pune, 250 ft deep in the valley.

The car he was driving when he met with the fatal accident
The car he was driving when he met with the fatal accident

Indrajeet (24), reported missing since January 21, had called his father, Deepak, up that evening to say that he had met with an accident near Malshej Ghat. But when the family reached the spot, he and his Wagon R were nowhere to be found. His mobile phone was also switched off. Since then, the police and the family looked for him in vain.

Indrajeet Mokashi had been reported missing since January 21
Indrajeet Mokashi had been reported missing since January 21

On Wednesday, a group of villagers from Murbad that had ventured into the forest to procure wood for Holi spotted Indrajeet’s body and his Wagon R car in the ghat. The police was immediately alerted and the parents were called in to identify the body.

Suspecting that his son had been murdered, Deepak told mid-day that in his last call to the family, Indrajeet had talked of a truck rear-ending his car near the valley, causing injuries in his neck and waist. “It wasn’t an accident; it was murder. My son’s mobile phone and wallet were missing from the car.”

The family had launched a manhunt of its own right after that ill-fated phone call. “We traced his last call to a spot near Murbad, about 35 km from Malshej Ghat,” said Deepak.

The Mokashis are now alleging that a delay in police investigation cost them their son’s life. “The police initially sat on the repeated complaints we made. If they had launched a manhunt right away, my son could have been saved,” rued Deepak. News of the discovery of Indrajeet’s body has sent his mother into a state of shock.

Police says
Dhumal, Tokawade police sub-inspector, however, said the police had combed the forest Malshej Ghat during their earlier investigation. “Indrajeet’s decomposed body, found in his Wagon R, has been sent for a postmortem. As per preliminary investigation, it looks like an accident case.”

Assistant police inspector officer Pankaj Giri at the Tokawade station, too, said the police had wasted no time in launching a manhunt for Indrajeet as soon as he had been reported missing. “Several teams were sent to Ahmadnagar, Pune, Nasik and villages in Thane. His car was found 250 ft deep in the valley hidden in bushes. We are investigating from all angles.”

Pointing out that the family had not raised any suspicion of murder before, he said, “The parents only told us that Indrajeet had called to say that he had met with an accident.”

Indrajeet had a third-degree black belt in karate, and had won dozens of gold medals at the national and international levels. In 2012, he had won a gold medal in Sri Lanka and had stood fourth in a competition in Japan last year. He worked with a call centre in Powai and taught karate, for which he travelled to Pune twice a week.

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