In a search operation yesterday that spanned four hours and had to be called off due to poor visibility at twilight, the combined forces of the Malwani police, Navy and Coast Guard failed to salvage the body of a 45-year-old man who was killed by his wife, son and two others, and dumped in the murky waters of the Madh Island creek.

On Saturday, the Malwani police had arrested victim Naresh Narayan Bhoir's wife Lakshmi, his 21-year-old son Pritam, and Lakshmi's boyfriend Salim Bulami (23). They also arrested Gajanan Yeru (58), the paramour of the victim's mother Ganga.

Search party: According to cops, the divers scoured a 500 sq-km and
8 metre deep area of the creek, but could not trace the body of the victim
Naresh Narayan Bhoir (below), as the surface was full of muck.
Pics/Samiullah Khan

MiD DAY had reported the incident on February 5 ('Wife, son arrested for man's murder; victim allegedly poisoned').

According to the Malwani police, Lakshmi, in her statement, told the police that since Bhoir was suffering from leprosy and was unemployed, she, her lover and son planned to kill him.

After poisoning and strangling him, they took the help of Gajanan and bundled his body into a gunny bag.
They then hired a boat and dumped it in the creek at Madh Island, after tying it to a rock.

On Tuesday, police officers of the Malwani police station who are investigating the case set out to trace the body. "Although Lakshmi and the other accused confessed to their crime, we had to find the body to prove that it was a case of murder," said Jaywant Hargude, assistant commissioner of police (Malwani region).

The police, along with four divers from the Navy and the Coast Guard launched a search operation that lasted till evening.

The operation had to be stopped owing to fading light.

According to cops, the divers scoured a 500 sq-kilometre and 8 metre deep area of the creek, but could not trace the body, as the surface was full of muck.

"We will continue the operation tomorrow," added Hargude.

Bhoir had been reported missing since January 21, when his sister Sangeeta Acharya filed a missing person's

The incident came to light when on Friday an inebriated Gajanan told Naresh's sister Sangeeta Acharya that Bhoir's wife and son had poisoned the victim.

He also reportedly told Acharya that Lakshmi and Pritam sought the help of Salim and himself to hire
a boat and dump Naresh's body in the Madh island creek.

Sangeeta then approached the Malwani police and filed a complaint against her sister-in-law and nephew.
The police on Friday detained Lakshmi, who later confessed to the crime.