Three days after 38-year-old Utpam Gade turned himself in to the Vakola police, claiming to have murdered a man who had slapped him for urinating near him and his ‘girlfriend’ in the forests near Sindhudurg Fort, the Pune rural police are still grappling for leads.
Utpam Gade (38) has taken the Haveli Police on a ride for 72 hours by changing his version of events
While Gade had gone on a two-day booze-filled Mumbai Darshan before surrendering on Thursday, the Haveli police under whose jurisdiction the Sindhudurg Fort falls has spent the last 72 hours combing the vast forests of the area.
With no body or missing complaint turning up and Gade constantly changing his version of where he had dumped the body the police are coming up with varied theories.
“The forests near the Sindhudurg Fort are known to be a prostitution den. Prostitutes take their customers there because the chances of being discovered are slim. Most of these customers are from outside Sindhudurg and Pune and that could explain why we have found no missing complaints registered with us or the Pune police.
If the man murdered by Gade was one such customer, the prostitute will never come forward and give a statement,” said a Haveli police official. “Also, if Gade’s claims are true and he murdered the man on Tuesday, there are high chances of wild animals having eaten the body or dragged it somewhere,” he added.
Off his rockers?
Cops are also not ruling out the possibility of Gade being mentally challenged and sending them on a wild-goose chase. “Yes, we have considered that, because parts of his story do not add up.
At the moment, however, we are taking him along while scouring the jungle so that he can tell us exactly where he had dumped the body.
A team is checking complaints filed withus and the Pune police. We have also asked our informants to tell us about any missing people from the area,”said the official.
On June 27, mid-day had reported how Gade had turned up at the Vakola police station on Thursday, sipping cheap alcohol and waiting for any officer to notice him so he could surrender.
Gade had confessed to killing a man, who had slapped Gade for urinating close to the spot where he and his ‘girlfriend’ were cozying up. Gade had smashed the man’s head in with a rock on Tuesday and taken a train to Mumbai.
After visiting the Siddhivinayak temple in Dadar and spending nearly a day at Juhu Chowpatty, he had surrendered to the Vakola police on Thursday. The Haveli police, which did not know of any murder in its jurisdiction, had subsequently taken Gade’s custody.
“Gade told us that he had thrown the victim’s body in the bushes before fleeing. The Haveli police have said there is no missing case registered with them and the victim might have gone to Sindhudurg from some other area,” said a police source.