A 47-year-old man, Sarjerao Sathe, who worked as a security guard at a private residential housing society in plush Koregaon Park, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital, eight days after he was found injured at Ghorpadi under mysterious circumstances.
Cops said that on July 28, Sathe was assaulted by a doctor named Abhijit Khanvilkar at the housing society gate over a petty dispute, and was later found in a pool of blood. The Koregaon police said that Khanvilkar, who has a small research centre for health services in the housing society, Winterberry Purple in KP, has gone absconding after the incident.
Meanwhile, family members of the deceased, allege that it was Khanvilkar, who assaulted Sathe by pushing him to the ground, and abandoned him at a secluded place in Ghorpadi when he got injured. They also demanded immediate arrest of the at-large doctor. As per the Koregaon Park police station, the incident took place on July 28, at around 7.30 am, when Dr Khanvilkar sent his driver to get the ambulance from the parking lot.
“When the driver arrived and took out the vehicle from the parking lot, the gate was shut. He called up Khanvilkar and told him about this,” said sub-inspector Sheetal Jadhav of the police station. She said that Khanvilkar then called up the security guard, who told him he was busy switching off the waterpump.
Irked, Dr Khanvilkar went to the gate. But the security guard had left as his shift was over, and he found Sathe there instead. “Khanvilkar mistook Sathe for the watchman he had spoken to, and started arguing with him. In a fit of a rage, he pushed him to the ground and hurt him,” said Jadhav. Khanvilkar left, but society chairman Anup Nair, who had just arrived from his morning walk tried to pacify Khanvilkar and helped Sathe to his feet. Anup Nair said he last saw Sathe around 10.30 am at the housing society’s gate with a bandage on his hand.
“Sathe was later found injured in Ghorpadi and was admitted to the ICU of Budhrani Hospital at Koregaon Park,” he added. PSI Jadhav, the investigating officer in the case, said that as per the other security guard’s statement the deceased had come to his house in Ghorpadi around 8 pm on Saturdayand stayed there till 8.30 pm and left for home later However, on July 29, Sathe was found injured at a secluded place in Ghorpadi Gaon and the family was told about the previous day’s incident. They lodged a complaint with the Koregaon Park police station against Khanvilkar. “We registered a case under sections 302 (murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC,” said Jadhav.
However, Usha Sathe, the wife the deceased security guard alleged that when her husband was found in an injured condition on July 29, he was badly beaten up and suffered a head injury and the smell of a particular chemical was emanating from his body. “On Saturday evening he did not come home and I assumed that his shift was extended and he would not come home the entire night. On Sunday morning, we received a call from Mundhwa police station that he was found in an injured condition at Ghorpadi,” she said.
She further said that they later went to the housing society and got to know about Saturday’s incident. “We believe that Dr Khanvilkar, who had assaulted him on Saturday morning, must have later thrashed him and abandoned his body and then gone absconding,” she alleged. His body was taken for post-mortem on Monday evening after DCP (Zone II) Ramnath Pokle reached the hospital and assured strict action against the culprit. Sathe’s relatives said he had sustained multiple injuries on his body and that there was a gaping wound on the back of his head.
When MiD DAY visited Khanvilkar’s office, we were told he had gone out, and also his phone was switched off. Meanwhile, the Koregaon Park police have deployed two constables at the office. “We have sent a team to Kolhapur, his hometown, to trace him, but we haven’t found him so far,” said police inspector Rajendra Mulik.