Pune: Husband, in-laws held for forcing poison down woman's throat

Nigdi cops arrested all the four accused on Sunday; sister-in-law files counter-complaint accusing the woman of poisoning her 11-year-old daughter

Pune: In a chilling case of domestic violence, officials from Nigdi police station arrested a 27-year-old man, his parents and sister for allegedly torturing and forcing the man’s wife to consume poison. The accused have been identified as Santosh Pawar, his parents Bansi and Banarasi, and sister Rekha Bhosale.

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All four were arrested from their Nigdi residence on Sunday evening and have been booked under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (assault) and 498 A (domestic violence) of the Indian Penal Code. The action was initiated after a case was registered against the four by Santosh’s wife Radhika alias Radha (23), who is currently undergoing treatment at Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital.

From bad to worse
In her statement to the police, Radhika said she married Santosh on May 17, 2012 and a year later delivered a girl whom the couple named Kaavya.

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“Initially, my mother-in-law welcomed our daughter by attributing her as Goddess Laxmi. However, things changed for the worse after I conceived for the second time in 2015. My husband and in-laws threatened to desert me if I delivered another girl. I delivered our second daughter in December 2015. Neither my husband nor my in-laws came to see us post-delivery. They took along our elder daughter and started living in a separate house in Nigdi. I somehow managed to trace their whereabouts and landed at their residence in January 2016 with our newborn. However, my in-laws refused to accept that Santosh was the child’s father,” Radhika mentioned in her statement.

Despite her husband and in-law’s refusal to accept the newborn as theirs, Radhika decided to visit them daily hoping that the situation would improve with passing time.

“I was treated like a domestic help, due to which I couldn’t look after my newborn. As time passed, the situation went from bad to worse. Suddenly, they demanded a motorcycle and R50,000 to help my in-laws set up a new business. This constant torture pushed me further away from my second daughter. Pale and malnourished, she breathed her last in February,” Radhika added.

Reacting to the counter-complaint lodged by Rekha, accusing Radhika of poisoning her 11-year-old daughter, Radhika claimed Rekha personally dropped her daughter at her residence before leaving for Mumbai.

“The poor girl fell sick due to sudden change in the weather, but my husband and Rekha accused me of poisoning her, which is a blatant lie,” she added.

Cop speak
Inspector SB Naik-Patil, in-charge of Nigdi police station, said, “The incident took place on March 24, when the victim visited her husband’s residence to meet their elder daughter. As per the victim’s statement, Santosh and his family assaulted Radhika and forcefully emptied a bottle of poison down her throat. It was one of her cousins and locals who rescued and rushed her to the hospital. Currently, she’s under observation.”

Investigating officer API Devendra Chavan said while Radhika works as a cook, Santosh is employed at a construction site. “Both the cases are being probed from all possible angles,” he added

Doc speak
When contacted, a medical officer from Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital said, “The victim has sustained multiple injuries to her hands, legs and back. Currently, she’s out of danger. While samples have been sent to the forensic lab to ascertain the poison, prima facie it appear to be an insecticide.”

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