The police recovered the body of a 25-year-old housewife, Sunita Vikram Shewate, from a 1,000-feet-deep gorge in Varandha Ghat in Bhor taluka yesterday morning. The Hadapsar resident had been missing for three days.
Police investigations revealed that Sunita’s husband, mother-in-law and father-in-law used to torture her over dowry and decided to kill her by pushing her into the gorge. After Sunita went missing, a complaint was registered by her father Narayan Kudale (58) at the Wanowrie police station. The police took the help of local trekkers to locate the body.
The police arrested Sunita’s husband Vikram and his parents Shankar and Alaka Shewate under Sections 302 (murder), 498 A (harassment of married woman by husband and in-laws) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. Vikram, who works in a private company, married Sunita eight years ago. The marriage resulted in two daughters.
“Over the past couple of years, Vikram and his parents were torturing Sunita over dowry and used to tell her to bring money from her parents as Vikram wanted to buy a four-wheeler,” Senior Police Inspector Bajirao Mohite said. He said Sunita’s father had even given Rs 1 lakh to Vikram and asked him not to torture his daughter for money anymore, but Vikram and his parents continued the harassment for money.
“On July 13, when Sunita was at her parents’ house in Hadapsar, Vikram had called her in the morning and told her to come to Gadital at Hadapsar and also told her that they would be going shopping,” Mohite said. “Sunita left her parents’ home and came to Gadital, where Vikram picked her up and took her to Varandha Ghat in Bhor taluka.”
After reaching the Kawala Kada in Varandha Ghat, he allegedly pushed her into the deep gorge and came back to the city in the afternoon. Mohite said on that night Vikram called Sunita’s father and told him that she had not come home. Later both approached the Wanowrie police station and lodged missing complaint.
“After registering the missing complaint, Vikram showed us a handwritten letter by Sunita in which she had written that she had gone somewhere and would not return home,” Mohite said. During the police investigation, it was revealed that the handwriting in the letter was not Sunita’s and Vikram had himself written the letter to mislead the police.
“As we were suspecting the role of Vikram, we interrogated him and during the interrogation he confessed to the crime and also confessed his parents’ role in the conspiracy to kill Sunita,” Mohite said. During the interrogation, Vikram said he had killed Sunita by pushing her from the Kawala Kada spot in Varandha Ghat on July 13.
A team from the Wanowrie police station launched a search operation with the help of local trekkers and recovered the body after six hours. All three accused were produced before the Cantonment court and remanded in police custody till July 20. Police Inspector (Crime) Ajit Khadake is investigating the case further.