Pune: The The two persons arrested by Pune rural police in connection with the murder of two students of Sinhagad Institute of Technology (SIT) in Lonavla, have earlier robbed couples at secluded places after stripping them of clothes.
Police officials said that they had also questioned the two deceased before killing them when they were spotted for the second time around 9 pm on April 2. The bodies of Sarthak Wakchoure (22) and Shruti Dumbre (21) were found on April 3 in the forest area near Bhushi dam between INS Shivaji and Air Force Station in Lonavla. Both were naked and had their hands tied behind their backs. They were bludgeoned to death with a blunt object.
The accused had first seen the couple at a secluded spot around 9 pm on April 2. The couple had gone down and after sometime, again came back on the hillock. The duo who was armed with a sharp weapon, confronted them and asked Sarthak to strip. He removed his clothes.
But when the duo asked the girl to strip, he protested. The accused assaulted him with a chopper and then bludgeoned him to death. Shruti started screaming. The accused tied her hands and then strangulated her to death. They also attempted to sexually assault her. The accused had fled with their mobile phones.
The police said that Salim Shaikh and Asif Shaikh are historysheeters with cases of thefts and robbery registered against them. They also looted couples twice but no case was filed against them.
How case was cracked?
The police had scanned over 1.5 lakhs phone calls in the area besides questioning over 2,000 historysheeters from around Lonavla and other parts of the district. The accused Salim was also questioned but he dodged the police.
Special IG (Kolhapur range) Vishwas Nangre Patil said, “Accused Salim was questioned two days after the incident came to light.
After that, he went to Ahmednagar. Our sleuths shadowed him and he was caught after his role was confirmed. Meanwhile, his accomplice escaped to Hyderabad and then to Agra, where we arrested him.” On Monday, the accused persons were produced before the Vadgaon Maval court which remanded them to police custody till June 16.
Reward for SIT
Nangre Patil has announced a reward of Rs 40,000 for the SIT which includes Inspector Dayanand Gawande, Inspector Sunil Pawar, Inspector Sunil Patil, Assistant Inspector Rajesh Ramaghare, Ankush Mane, Arvind Kate of local crime branch, Sub-Inspector Gije, Prakash Shitole, constables Amit Thosar, Mayur Abnave, Jitendra Dixit, Shailendra Kantholi, Sachin Gaikwad, Aslam Attar and Pradeep Khale.