The Dutch mystery: Cops camping in Pune in hunt for Avdhut Shinde

Updated: Jun 05, 2019, 10:18 IST | Diwakar Sharma |

Police from the Netherlands tell mid-day they are probing the death of Malad woman Sharmila Shinde to get to the bottom of it

Sharmila and Avdhut Shinde with their children
Sharmila and Avdhut Shinde with their children

It was the missing person's complaint registered by Avdhut Shinde's employers with The Hague police on May 20 that led to the discovery of the decomposed body of his wife, Sharmila, inside a flat in Raspberry Street on May 21. Avdhut had fled The Netherlands with his two children four days earlier, the Dutch police told mid-day, adding that they do not exclude a crime in the case.

After recovering the body, The Hague police issued a press note saying, "In response to the finding of the remains, the police carried out searches in the home. The police do not exclude a crime and will conduct further investigation."

The door to Sharmila and Avdhut Shinde’s residence in The Hague, Netherlands
The door to Sharmila and Avdhut Shinde’s residence in The Hague, Netherlands

"We have recovered the body of a woman in de Frambozenstraat in The Hague. We started forensic investigation of the house, which has further been sealed for investigation. Her family is missing, but we have sent her body to Mumbai to her relatives. We have formed a team to investigate," Anita Gehasse, detective of the Dutch police unit at The Hague told mid-day.

Also Read: The Dutch mystery: Saw injury marks on her, says woman's kin

"The neighbours are deeply shocked and horrified following the mysterious death. They have placed bouquets at the entrance to the house where Sharmila lived with her husband and children," said Gehasse.

Sharmila Shinde
Sharmila Shinde

When asked if there was any injury mark on her body, Gehasse said, "It is part of our investigation and at this stage we cannot reveal anything that could hamper it. The mystery will be unravelled only after her husband is traced and interrogated."

She added that Interpol had been informed to hunt for Avdhut who worked in a shipping logistics company, headquartered in The Hague. Sources said the forensic team had again visited the house on May 29 and carried out a thorough investigation for hours.

The Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Venu Rajamony told local press that the Netherlands police are in touch with their Indian counterparts. "We are in contact with the police in The Hague and India. We are also keeping the family in India informed, but the most important thing is that the children are safe," Rajamony told the media in The Hague.

So far the Mumbai police have been unable to trace Avdhut who is believed to be hiding somewhere in Maharashtra. Sources in the Mumbai police said one police team has been camping in Nashik for a few days to trace him.

Also Read: Mumbai: Dindoshi police hunt for man who fled after wife's mysterious death

The zonal deputy commissioner of police Dr Vinaykumar Rathod said, "We have been trying to trace Avdhut. As it is only a missing person's complaint, we cannot arrest him, but the due legal course of action will be taken once he is traced." The crime branch and other law enforcement agencies have been working in tandem to trace Avdhut who went underground after reaching Mumbai on May 18.
Sharmila's brother Shashidhar Shetty said, "It was my sister's decision to settle down along with their kids in The Hague."

Avdhut studied Masters in Business Application (MBA) from Pune University. Police sources told mid-day that a few teams have been camping in Pune where he lived for eight years. The cops are trying to zero in on Avdhut's location by meeting his college friends and colleagues of a company he worked in past.

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