Initially, an inconclusive autopsy report had failed to come up with the exact cause of her death. Officials claimed that Puja was a victim of one-sided love and they arrested 19-year-old Akash Koli, a resident of Nimhan Chawl in Pashan, for her murder.
“Akash, who stays nearby, used to stare at Puja daily when she would go for her tuitions. A few days later, presuming that even she (Puja) was infatuated by him, Akash started following her everyday,” Police Inspector Sunil Pawar said.
Pawar said on September 8, Akash followed Puja after her lectures were over, intercepted her and expressed his love. He also asked Puja to marry him, but Puja sternly asked him to stay away from her.
“Spurned by Puja’s rejection, he strangled her. This made the girl lose her conscience. He then stuffed grass into her mouth and stabbed her in the stomach with a compass and fled the spot,” Pawar said.
Another official said they detained Akash after they went through Puja’s call detail records, which revealed the Akash’s cellphone location was similar to that of Puja’s. “During interrogation Akash confessed to his crime,” the officials said.