Pune Crime: Four arrested for stoning 26-year-old driver to death

One of the accused, a small-time criminal said he visited pilgrimage centres to repent his sin

A 26-year-old was allegedly stoned to death by a small-time goon of Saswad, who, after killing the youth, decided to travel to pilgrimage centers in Pune and Satara to ‘repent his sin’.

The incident came to light when Saswad police found the decomposed body of the victim, in the forest area of Dive ghat on October 18.

Initially, a case of accidental death was reported. However, the post-mortem report revealed that the victim was beaten up with a hard object, which led to his death. After circulating his photos to local residents in Saswad, the victim was identified as Yogesh Arun Kamathe.

After investigating the case, police arrested Shaila Khedekar (50), Vaibhav Jagtap (26) and his two friends Prashant Lokhande (18) and Vishal Pawar (20).

Senior inspector SR Gaud of Saswad police station, who cracked the case, said, “The deceased worked as a driver with Khedekar for her general store and flower shop since the last two years. Recently, she started noticing that Kamathe was getting close to her younger daughter. He would pick and drop her to college and would take her for long drives. She contacted Jagtap, who was her elder daughter’s friend and abetted him to threaten and beat Kamathe.”

According to the police, Jagtap and his two friends hatched a plan and on October 17, they called Kamathe under the pretext of loading goods from the city. They took him to the forest area where they stoned him to death. The trio also removed his clothes and took his belongings so that his identity could not be revealed. They threw his motorcycle in a quarry in Bhor after removing the number plate and keys.

“The victim was identified after we circulated his photo on a mobile messenger app. We smelled a rat as Kamathe was missing from work but Khedekar had not filed any missing persons complaint with the police.”

The four accused were produced before the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) on Sunday and have been remanded in police custody till Monday.

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