Beed (Maharashtra): The Beed Court Joint Civil Judge Kadir A. Sarvari on Monday sent to police custody a man accused of murdering his 22-year-old girlfriend in a ghastly acid-cum-petrol attack, an official said here.
The accused, Avinash R. Rajure, 25, was picked up from a hideout in Nanded, brought to Beed and produced before the District Court Monday morning, said in-charge of the Neknur Police Station, Laxman Kendre.
The Investigating Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police Bhaskar Sawant said that though the accused has not revealed the motive behind the heinous crime, the investigators will now unravel the truth during his custodial interrogation.
In a gut-wrenching Diwali tragedy that stunned the people, Savitra D. Ankulkar, 22, was brutally targeted in an acid attack and petrol burning by her boyfriend Rajure.
As she burnt, he dumped the girl into a roadside ditch in the remote Yellamb Ghats region of Beed early on Saturday morning.
Rajure and Ankulkar had left Pune on a motorcycle for their home in Shelgaon village, Nanded district for Diwali celebrations, said Kendre.
En route on the 450-km journey, around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, the accused Rajure stopped his vehicle at a desolate spot and attacked the victim, Kendre told IANS.
The police official said that first, the accused attempted to strangulate her but she fought back, then he removed a bottle of acid and threw it on her as she screamed for help at the dead of the night in that remote area.
Not stopping at this, he removed petrol from his vehicle, poured it on her, set her afire, pushed her into a deep ditch beside the road as she burnt and decamped from there.
A shepherd tending to his flock heard her agonizing cries from the ditch around 2 p.m. on Saturday and immediately alerted the police who rushed there and shifted her to the Beed Civil Hospital.
Abandoned in the ditch for over 12 hours before the police rescued her, she had suffered over 50 per cent injuries, and after a valiant 16-hour battle for life, finally breathed her last on Sunday morning, Kendre added.
Moving swiftly, teams of Maharashtra Police launched a manhunt for the absconding accused and zeroed in on him at his Nanded hideout on Sunday evening, even as a political uproar broke out in the state.
As per the preliminary investigations and a brief “dying statement” of the girl, the accused and the victim stayed together in Pune as live-in partners for a few weeks, which ended in a Diwali tragedy for Ankulkar.
Nationalist Congress Party leader and Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde from Beed district took a serious note of the incident and discussed the issue with the local police and administration.
“It’s a grave matter. I have asked the officers to ensure justice for the victim as early as possible,” Munde said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party Leader of Opposition Pravin Darekar termed it as a blot on the face of the state while BJP Women’s Wing Vice-President Chitra Wagh slammed the government over the incident.
“This is the 8th such incident in recent weeks and reflects poorly on women’s safety in the state. We are ashamed that this has happened. What is stopping the state from enacting a Disha-type law in Maharashtra,” Wagh demanded.
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