Pune Crime: Social workers assault, rob 60-yr-old woman

While Aruna Harpale and Surekha Bhosale were arrested from their respective residences, Hadapsar cops are on the lookout for their accomplices — a woman named Memane, and one Nilesh Tupe

Officials from Hadapsar police station arrested two social workers and are on the lookout for two of their accomplices for assaulting and robbing a senior citizen. The arrested women claim they are part of women grievances redressal cells at various police stations in the city.

Aruna Harpale
In police net: Aruna Harpale

While Aruna Harpale and Surekha Bhosale, both residents of Sadesatara Nali in Hadapar, were arrested from their respective residences in the wee hours of Monday, a woman named Memane and one Nilesh Tupe are on the run. The duo was arrested after Suman Devkar (60), a resident of Hadapsar, lodged a complaint against the quartet on Sunday morning.

Surekha Bhosale
Surekha Bhosale

Suman’s son Dipak said, “My mother’s friend Lata Vidhate was booked in a case pertaining to domestic violence and under the Black Magic Act. The case was registered in September at the Rahuri police station, in Ahmednagar, by Vidhate’s daughter-in-law who is from Rahuri. The Vidhates came into contact with Harpale as a counsellor-cum-social worker, attached with the city police at one of the grievances redressal cells. Harpale said she could settle the case if they paid her R30,000. Vidhate mortgaged her gold chain and initially gave Harpale Rs 12,500. But despite giving the money, she was arrested by the Rahuri police.”

He added that being neighbours and friends, his mother questioned Harpale for not helping Vidhate despite taking the money. Later, Harpale and her accomplices started threatening Suman and demanded the remaining Rs 17,500 from her.
“When my mother refused to pay, they barged into our house on September 30 and October 7 and threatened her with dire consequences if she didn’t pay. They once again visited our residence on Friday. But when my mother refused to budge, they attacked her and robbed her gold chain worth Rs 1.35 lakh. Initially we were afraid of their threats, but approached the police after they robbed my mother.”

Inspector (Crime) Varsharani Patil from Hadapsar police station said, “The women — Harpale, Bhosale and Memane — were part of our women grievances cell. However, we called off the association after complaints of extortion started mounting against them. Counselling is done for free by the police and the women’s cell. We have filed a case against the accused under sections 384 (extortion), 323 (assault), 143 (rioting), 342 (trespassing) and 392 (robbery) of the IPC. The complainant has sustained injuries to her face and neck, and is currently undergoing treatment in a private hospital at Hadapsar. We believe that the accused must have committed similar offences in the past. We appeal to people to come forward and register their cases against them.

Contact cops

In case you have been victimised by any of the accused, you can contact the Hadapsar police on: 020-26996577

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