To begin with, it was a tragic story of a helpless husband and a hapless wife. The couple is accosted by dacoits, beaten up, looted and then the wife is raped in front of the tied-to-the-tree husband before the bad guys slit her throat and escape with the loot.
Straight enough story — brutal, heartrending, definitely one that no one would want to happen to self and wife. That was till the police, finding some chinks in the husband’s story, start questioning him. More chinks emerge and hubby spills out the truth. “I killed her,” he tells the cops.
That’s the sensational twist to the murder of a woman in Lasalgaon in Nashik district. After telling a cock and bull story, Bharat Ramdas Dhokrat, 32, confessed that it was he who killed his wife, Sheetal, 27, as he was in an illicit relationship with another woman and did not get along with Sheetal.
Earlier, he had lied to the police that Sheetal was gang-raped and killed after the couple was attacked by four men on Sunday night. Bharat was arrested on Monday after the police found several contradictions in his statement. “Bharat filed a case against four unidentified dacoits for the rape and murder of his wife. He said the dacoits had thrashed both of them, and that they were robbed.
When we quizzed him, we found many contradictions in his statement and the report he had filed. After much prodding, Bharat confessed to have committed the crime with the help of his friend Gulab Thakur, a resident of his native village. He admitted that he concocted the story of his wife being raped and killed by four men,” Pravin Padwal, superintendent of police, Nashik district, told dna.
Padwal said Bharat, a farm-worker and resident of Kolgaon in Sinnar tehsil, told the police that he was married to Sheetal for 11 years and that they never got along. The rift between them widened so much that he had once left her at her maternal home in Surat, Gujarat. When he refused to take her back, Sheetal and her parents filed a grievance case against him with the women’s security cell in Surat. Subsequently, Bharat faced an inquiry and was forced to accept his wife back.
Meanwhile, Bharat got involved in an illicit relationship with another woman and wanted Sheetal out of his life. He took his friend Gulab’s help to eliminate Sheetal and cooked up the story to avoid being caught.
Bharat told the police that Sheetal and he were attacked while they were returning home after visiting his wife’s sister, who had given birth to a baby, in Jalgaon village in Malegaon. He said four men stopped their two-wheeler near Sat Mori naka and began attacking them. According to his statement, he managed to inform his family about the incident using his mobile phone. This enraged the attackers who tied him to a tree and raped Sheetal before slitting her throat, killing her on the spot. Bharat claimed the attackers fled with Rs600 and ornaments worth Rs16,000 the couple had on them.
The police swung into action with Padwal and senior officers visiting the spot after midnight. Investigations revealed that there were discrepancies in Bharat’s statement. Later he confessed to have committed the crime.