Was accused in Santosh Shetty murder the target?

The wife of an accused in the RTI activist Satish Shetty murder case was shot outside her residence in Dehu Road on Monday night. 29-year-old Harshada Shinde was riding pillion with her husband Santosh Shinde when two bike-borne assailants fired at them, as they neared their building.

Harshada who sustained bullet injuries to her right arm is out of danger, and is recuperating at a hospital. Police believe the intended target was Santosh, a history-sheeter who is out on bail, after he was booked under criminal charges for plotting the murder of RTI activist Satish Shetty two years back. After the incident, the attackers fled from the spot taking advantage of the darkness.

Tragic: Harshada Shinde, who is recuperating at a hospital, was riding pillion with her husband Santosh Shinde when two bike-borne assailants fired at them as they neared their building in Dehu Road. Pic/ Navnath Kaple

“Harshada is the wife of Santosh Shinde, who is one of the accused in RTI activist Satish Shetty’s murder case. He was earlier arrested by the Pune rural police for plotting the murder of the slain activist,” said Ram Jadhav, police inspector at Dehu Road police station.

“On Monday, Santosh and Harshada were returning from Akurdi and when their bike neared their home in Alkapuri Housing Society, Dehu Road, two unidentified persons riding a bike shot at the couple. The bullet pierced through her right bicep, and she sustained a bullet injury,” said Jadhav.

“We are investigating the case, however, so far no substantial leads have been established. We have launched the manhunt to nab the assailants,” said police inspector, Nitinkumar Gokave of the local Crime Branch.

Police said that after Shetty’s murder in January 2010, Santosh who was arrested by the rural police stated in his interrogation that he did receive Rs 1 lakh to kill the whistleblower. However, after seeing Shetty’s photo, he refused to execute the plan and returned the money to the masterminds.

Shetty, who invoked the RTI Act for unearthing land scams in the district, was murdered near his residence at Talegaon Dabhade on January 13, 2010.

The Dehu Road police have registered a case of attempt to murder and under the Arms Act against the unidentified people. They have appealed to people to come forward with any information related to the incident by contacting the Dehu Road police station on 020-27671288. 

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