Nagpur: The District and Sessions Court in Nagpur on Saturday awarded Vivek Palatkar the death penalty for the gruesome murders that took place in Aradhana Nagar under Nandanvan Police Station back on June 11, 2018. Palatkar, a former murder accused, went on a killing spree at the home of his brother-in-law, Kamlakar Pawankar, killing five people, including his own four-year-old son. The court has given Palatkar 10 days time for appealing in higher court against the verdict.
The deceased were identified as Kamlakar Pawankar (53), his wife Archana (45), their daughters Vedanti (15), Kamlakar’s mother Meerabai (70), and Palatkar’s son Ganesh, also known as Krushna. Palatkar apparently bludgeoned them to death using a crowbar, and the police believed that property-related issues were the motive behind the killings.
The only survivors of the incident were Palatkar’s elder daughter Vaishnavi Palatkar and Mitali Pawankar, both seven years old, who brought the crime to the attention of their neighbors. The cousins had slept among the corpses for a few hours before waking up to the carnage.
The Nagpur police had sent several teams to nab the suspect Palatkar. His bike was found parked outside the two-bedroom apartment of the deceased, which gave the cops their first clue to the murders. A neighbour had also spotted Palatkar near the Pawankars’ home, who owned two adjacent shops, at about 10.30 pm the previous night.
Palatkar had allegedly killed his wife, Savita, and burnt her corpse to destroy evidence in May 2014. After being convicted by the Sessions Court in his wife’s murder, Palatkar was acquitted by the High Court about a year ago. Kamlakar, who was also a BJP worker whom Palatkar killed on June 11, 2018, had actually helped him with the case and also tried to rehabilitate him after his release from jail.
According to police, Palatkar had quit as a security guard at a private hotel in Sitabuldi recently and wanted to begin farming at his native place at Nuwargaon near Airoli in Nagpur rural.
Forensic experts confirmed the use of a “hard and blunt” object to bludgeon the victims. The police also found a crowbar in the bush near the house.
Palatkar was later nabbed from Ludhiana in Punjab.
After APP Abhay Jichkar and his assistant Adv Mohammad Atiq examined 29 witnesses, District and Sessions Court Judge R S Pawaskar awarded the death penalty to the accused Palatkar.