Driven by an oath taken just before his sister’s body was cremated on August 15 last year, a man murdered his brother-in-law and sister’s mother-in-law with a cut throat razor because his family and he believed that they were responsible for his sibling committing suicide.

Shashikant Prabhar Palve (20) slit the victims’ throats at around 10 pm on Wednesday night in Ganesh colony, Kajupada, Dahisar (E) and was arrested shortly after the crime.

Gyaneshwar Pandurang Kakad (32) had married Sunita (25) in 2005 and the couple had two children. According to the police, Gyaneshwar was an alcoholic and his mother Laxmibai Pandurang Kakad (65) allegedly physically abused Sunita over petty issues.

Sunita was found hanging from the ceiling fan at her home on August 12 last year, a day before Raksha Bandhan, at Sinnar village in Nashik. A day after Sunita’s death, the Nashik police had arrested Ghyaneshwar and Laxmibai for abetment of suicide and they were released on bail after being incarcerated in Nashik Central Jail for three months.

The police claim that Sunita’s family was enraged that the duo had been released after serving a mere three months, as they suspected that her in-laws had murdered her and made it appear like a suicide.

Shashikant confessed to the murders and told the police during interrogation that he had sworn on the body of his deceased sister, just before she was cremated on August 15, that he would avenge her death same time next year.

Gautam Randive, police inspector of Dahisar police station, said, “When we reached the spot, we had no clue who was responsible. But when we checked the victim’s background, we discovered that his wife Sunita had committed suicide under mysterious circumstances last year. We detained Shashikant for further investigation after picking him up from Shanti Nagar. He confessed to the crime during interrogation.”

Detection officer Satish Walkar said that after slitting the victims’ throats, Shashikant changed into fresh clothing at a public toilet and threw the murder weapon and clothes in the garbage to destroy evidence.

“We have now recovered these items. Sunita died last year a day before Raksha Bandhan, and her brother committed the murders this year after Raksha Bandhan,” Walkar said. Ghyaneshwar’s brother Baban Kakad alleges that the accused had threatened to kill his brother and mother while they were all at the hospital the day Sunita died.

“In the hospital he said that since they had killed his sister, he would one day kill them both,” said Baban. Shashikant was arrested under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. He was produced at Borivali court and remanded in police custody till August 22.

The couple’s two orphaned children are currently staying with their maternal uncle.