Nagpur/Mumbai: A 22 year old Engineering graduate, reportedly a daughter on assistant sub-inspectopr posted ast Nagpur police headquarters has been brutally murdered by two youths who after commiting the heinous crime dumped her body near Belgaum. The youths have also confessed to having raped the woman. After graduating from YCCE College in Nagpur, the woman was interning with an IT firm in Andheri (East). “She had taken a flat on rent in Vikhroli (West). I had seen her off in Mumbai on August 15,” the victim’s father said.
The incident took place in Ambernath and the case is jointly being investigated by police from Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The accused, who have been arrested, have been identified as Niklesh Patil (24) and Akshay Valode (25). Police said Patil is a resident of Misal Layout in Jaripatka area of Nagpur while Valode is from Ambernath. The victim is the daughter of an assistant sub-inspector posted at the Nagpur police HQ. Both, she and Patil are engineers.
Sunil Patil, assistant police commissioner of Ambernath division, said, “The accused have been booked under section 376 (2)(g) (gang rape), 302 (murder), 201 (destroying evidence), and 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code. We are also looking into the role of the accused’s friend Nilesh Khobragade (38) in whose car the victim’s body was transported. Four different teams have been formed to probe the case.”
According to police, Khobragade resides at Laxmi Nagar in Nagpur. However, neighbours in the building denied it. The rented apartment where Patil resides with his brother and family too was found locked.
After dumping the body without the knowledge of Khobragade, the trio travelled to Goa. When Khobragade learnt about the deed, he threatened to go to the police. Patil and Valode then surrendered at Ratnagiri while they were returning to Mumbai. Cops from Ratnagiri have registered the case and are expected to shift it to Ambernath division’s Shivaji Nagar police station.
The victim reportedly came to Pune along with a close friend to visit another common friend on Sunday night. It is not exactly known where she met Patil, who was known to her from Nagpur, and Valode.
While returning to Mumbai in Khobragade’s car, the accused decided to stop for a while at Valode’s residence in Square Heights building of Palegaon area in Ambernath (East). Police sources said that Patil and Valode raped the woman. Khobragade was allegedly not present at that time. When the woman threatened to got to police, one of them gagged her and the other throttled leading to her death.
Then, they packed her body in a suitcase and decided to leave for Goa in Khobragade’s car. When they reached Belagavi, Patil and Valode dumped the bag into a nullah without the knowledge of Khobragade.
“The bag was found about 17 kms from Belagavi near Rani Chennamma University between the national highway and a service road,” said inspector Ramesh Gokak of Kakati police station in whose jurisdiction the body was found.
The Ambernath police on Wednesday evening conducted a panchnama of the flat where the accused raped and killed the woman. The state forensic team also visited the flat to collect evidence. The police have also recovered CCTV footage from the building.
Neighbours of the building were shocked on learning the incident. “Valode had rented the flat from Sitaram Raut, who too stays in the same building, and was staying alone.”
Another resident said, “Valode hardly used to speak anybody as he used to leave early in the morning on work and return late in the night.”