A day after the arrest of all five members of the gang which had allegedly raped and murdered at least 15 women in Gadhciroli district’s Bhamragad taluka, the police travelled more than 30 km into the jungle on foot yesterday to look for the bodies of the victims.
The search proved futile as it was getting dark and the police team had to return empty-handed for fear of a Naxalite attack.
mid-day had reported yesterday how the police had found the partly charred body of one Sangita, who had come to the area from outside to join the police force.
The discovery had led them to forest guard Manoj Sharmike and four of his accomplices, who would earn women’s trust or kidnap them and then throw their bodies into the jungle after raping and murdering them.
While Sangita’s body was found, the police took the members of the gang yesterday and travelled more than 30 km into the forest on foot to look for the bodies of the other 14 victims.
The accused had told them that they had thrown the bodies deep into the jungle, at least 40 km from the place where Sangita’s body was found.
“Since no vehicle could be taken into the jungle, we made slow progress and had to come back after travelling 30 km as it was getting dark and it was not possible for us to spend more time in the jungle as there was a possibility of a Naxal attack.
We are also investigating the possibility of the accused lying about where they had dumped the bodies and also of them being linked to the Naxals,” said an officer from the Bhamragad police.