Pune: A 23-year-old labourer was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly kidnapping a two-and-a-half-year-old girl from her house in Vadgaon Khurd on Saturday, raping her and then strangulating her to death. The police said the accused was under the influence of alcohol.
The accused, Ajay alias Bablu Rameshwar Chaure, a native of Osmanabad district, was residing in Narayan Peth. He works as a building painter with a contractor. Earlier, he lived on the second floor of the building where the deceased, Shruti, lived with her parents on the ground floor.
According to the police, Chaure had left the building within a few days after the victim’s family came to live there. As he had made friends there, he used to often go there from Narayan Peth to meet them. On Saturday, he had received his salary and bonus (about Rs 4,500) and he was to go to his native place.
“However, at night, Chaure and his friend consumed liquor. After his friend left, he again bought liquor. He was drinking and passing by the victim’s house when he saw the door open. Only the safety door had a latch, which he removed and entered the small room. The victim was sleeping on one side, while her mother, father and mother’s maternal uncle were sleeping facing in the opposite direction. He lifted the child and took her to the open field near her house and committed the crime,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (South) Ravindra Sengaonkar while addressing a press conference at the Police Commissioner’s office.
How the case was cracked ?
After strangulating the victim to death, Chaure allegedly hid her body in long grass and remained in a field nearby. Around 5 am, he took a bath outside an old woman’s house whom he knew. Instead of going to his native place, he chose to go to Phaltan in Satara district to work on his contractor’s farms. Meanwhile, the police had rounded up about 40 known criminals from the area for questioning, but no breakthrough was made.
“Teams from police stations under zone 2 and Crime Branch questioned people in the building as well as local residents. One of them tipped us when Chaure called them to ask about developments in the case and whether it has been solved. A team led by API Sunil Gavli from Anti-Extortion Cell of Crime Branch went to Phaltan and brought him to Pune on Tuesday,” an officer said. The cops said the liquor bottle and his phone call helped them zero in on the accused.
Girl was kidnapped within 45 minutes of others sleeping
The victim’s family members went to sleep around 11 pm on Saturday. Her mother woke up Vijay Shivange (31), her father, at around 11.45 pm, saying Shruti is missing. The door was open and they searched for her, but in vain. Around 12.30 in night, they informed the police and the body was found on Sunday at 6.30 am.
DCP Sudhir Hiremath from Crime Branch and DCP (zone 2) Pravin Mundhe supervised the investigation team which included Police Inspector Khodade from Sinhgad road police station , inspector Raghunath Jadhav from Crime Branch and policemen Bhausaheb Kondhare, Ramesh Garud, Shivaji Ghule, Santosh Mate, Feroz Bagwan, Sachin Ahiwale, Hanumant Gaikwad, Dheeraj Bhor and Narayan Bankar.