The Dutch mystery: Missing Mumbai man spied on, and hit, his wife

Updated: Jun 18, 2019, 07:14 IST | Diwakar Sharma

Neighbours of Sharmila Shinde, who died under mysterious circumstances in Amsterdam, reveal a dark side to her husband Avdhut, who is wanted by Dutch police; local police in Pune confirm she filed a complaint against him

The Dutch mystery: Missing Mumbai man spied on, and hit, his wife
The fading marks of an injury that Sharmila sustained under her right eye after Avdhut had allegedly hit her

While Avdhut Shinde is still missing after the mysterious death of his wife Sharmila, grim details have emerged about the trouble in their marriage. Sharmila was supposedly planning on divorcing Avdhut because of his overly suspicious, possessive and abusive behaviour. She had also filed a non-cognisable complaint against him on January 31, a month after he had left her with bruises during a heated argument.

Sharmila's decomposed body was found in the apartment she resided in with Avdhut and their children in the Netherlands on May 21. Close to four months before that, she had registered a NC complaint against him at the Kondhwa police station in Pune, a senior officer from the Pune police told mid-day. The complaint was filed close to a month after the couple had a heated argument that ended with Sharmila suffering bruises on her face.

Some chats between Sharmila and a friend where they spoke about booking tickets for her return to Mumbai
Some chats between Sharmila and a friend where they spoke about booking tickets for her return to Mumbai

Heated arguments

Speaking about the way Avdhut had been behaving with Sharmila right the incident, the officer said, "In December 2018, Sharmila went for a get-together of her school friends in Mumbai. After that, she and her friends exchanged numbers and formed a WhatsApp group, where everyone was excited to catch up. Sharmila told us that this did not go down well with Avdhut who would often pick fights and have unnecessarily heated arguments with her," the officer said. Avdhut was allegedly extremely suspicious and possessive of Sharmila.

Then came December 21. One of the Shindes' neighbours alleged, "Sharmila had gone to attend an orientation class on December 21, when Avdhut called her and yelled at her on the phone, asking her to get back home at the earliest. When she did, she saw that their children were seated outside. She entered the house with them. Later, the two had a heated argument for a few minutes after which Avdhut assaulted her. Sharmila fainted. Her face then swelled up with a dark patch around her right eye. Instead of taking her to the doctor, Avdhut restricted her outings till her wounds healed."

Also Read: The Dutch mystery: Man wanted is on temple run in Maharashtra

Some chats between Sharmila and a friend where they spoke about booking tickets for her return to Mumbai

Sister-in-law noticed

The neighbour added, "On December 31, her mother, father and sister in-law visited Pune to celebrate Avdhut and Sharmila's wedding anniversary and his father Madhukar's birthday. Sharmila's sister-in-law noticed the dark patch around her right eye and asked her the reason for it, but Sharmila did not reveal anything."

After the grand party on December 31, Avdhut was scheduled to fly to the Netherlands on January 4 but he delayed his plan for a few days to allegedly continue spying on Sharmila, according to the neighbour. "Avdhut was a tyrant around the house and in contrast, Sharmila was an innocent victim. She loved him deeply," the neighbour said.

Also Read: The Dutch mystery: Mumbai man's 'abrupt run' makes him 'prime suspect' for Dutch cops

The NC that Sharmila had registered with the Kondhwa police station against Avdhut on January 31
The NC that Sharmila had registered with the Kondhwa police station against Avdhut on January 31

He finally left for the Netherlands in the second week of January and promised to stop spying on her. "Yet, after he reached there, Avdhut kept on checking her location, e-mails and WhatsApp," said a source. Later, Sharmila was encouraged to file a complaint against him, after which she approached the Kondhwa police station on January 31 to register it (mid-day has a copy).

Avdhut had been allegedly suspicious of Sharmila since the beginning of their relationship. One of Sharmila's former colleagues from Maersk in Mumbai claimed, "Avdhut and Sharmila started dating in 2005. One day, Avdhut saw her with a common friend and got angry. He told Sharmila that if she really loves him, she has to marry him. Hence, she tied the knot with him in court on December 31, 2005. She never cheated on him, but he had been spying on her even before they got married."

Sharmila Shinde
Sharmila Shinde

'Will divorce you'

Sources told mid-day that Avdhut was also possessive and insecure about Sharmila. "He had the passwords to her Facebook and e-mail. He had also logged into her WhatsApp on his laptop to spy on the messages she would exchange," alleged the source. They further alleged that when Sharmila conceived, she was tortured by Avdhut to the extent that she'd gone to live at a friend's house in Mumbai for nearly a month. "He also had heated arguments over financial expenditures with her. His core intention was to drain Sharmila's bank account and make her completely dependent on him," alleged the source.

Sharmila seemed to have had enough of this behaviour. Another neighbour in Pune alleged, "After learning that despite her honesty towards him, he had continued to spy on her, Sharmila once told him that she will divorce him if he does not start trusting her. Upon hearing this, Avdhut flew down to Mumbai in February and met her. In a bid to pacify her, he organised a lavish party at home for her on Valentine's Day. He also told Sharmila's mother about her plans to divorce him."

While the surprise party helped calm things down, Avdhut allegedly continued to spy on Sharmila even after his return to the Netherlands. "After reaching the Netherlands, he had been planning to call her and kids to live with him. She was never ready to leave from Pune, but she had to because she wanted to improve her marriage," the source alleged.

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

Nothing got better

But things did not seem to improve even after she went there. The Pune neighbour said, "After reaching the Netherlands, Sharmila showed me their apartment and the bicycles they'd bought for their children on a WhatsApp video call. Avdhut was riled by this, so he would disconnect the WiFi connection before he went to work, leaving Sharmila with no way of connecting with her family and friends. She would then go to a nearby shopping mall with a free WiFi connection."

"She would always say that the situation there was torturous. She wanted to come back to Mumbai and had requested one of her friends to book a ticket for her, promising to pay her back once she returned. But her dead body arrived in Mumbai instead. It was really shocking for us," alleged her friend. Her friends strongly suspect that Sharmila's WhatsApp messages were checked by someone after her death. Madhukar Shinde did not respond to mid-day's repeated requests for comment.

Also Read: The Dutch mystery: Kin, friends seek answers about beloved teacher

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