Inside Story
PUNE: This sounds like a plot straight out of a pulp crime novel. The Pune rural police ascertained the identity of a murder victim and arrested the killers following a clue found on the dead man's shirt, which contained the address of the tailor who had made it. The police have arrested two suspects in this regard.

The Saswad police had registered a complaint of murder and destruction of evidence against unidentified persons after the body of a man was discovered by police patil Tukaram Bathe of Devdi village in Purandhar taluka on Saswad-Kapurhol Road on May 22. The victim's shirt had the tailor's address, Mahesh, Kothrud, Pune 38, written on it. Acting on the clue, the police located the tailor, who identified the photograph of the dead man as P G Gawde (as Ramrao Khadre). However, the tailor failed to provide any more details.

Later, responding to an appeal by the police in the local media, the victim's family met inspector Ashok Wandhekar of the Saswad police and identified the deceased as Pundalik Ganpat Gawde (55), a resident of Velhe in Purandhar taluka. Gawde's family members told the police that Gawde was running a business of car rentals. He owned an Indica (MH12/CD/5797) and used to travel out of Pune for days together. After the incident, the car and his mobile handset were found stolen.

Investigations revealed that Gawde's handset was being used by Nitesh Pardeshi. When Pardeshi was summoned for questioning, he said the handset, which contained a sim card in his name, was used by his friend Vijay Ganesh Gangadhare. Gangadhare had purchased the card in Pardeshi's name as he did not have a photograph. Later, during interrogation, Gangadhare confessed to his involvement in Gawde's murder, along with his friend, Uma Shankar Malika Arjun Kanagi (as Nagesh Bhosle and played by Navin Prabhakar) of Solapur.

Gangadhare and Kanagi stayed together at Bhavani Peth. Kanagi became friends with Gawde, since he used to rent the victim's car to travel to Mumbai to meet a woman with whom he had an affair. The probe has revealed that sometime back, Gawde had brought Kanagi to his home to give him first aid, as he had met with an accident. Gawde had later dropped Kanagi to his residence at Solapur and handed him a bag that contained a photograph of the Mumbai-based woman. Kanagi's wife saw the picture in the bag and their relations soured as she discovered her husband's alleged affair . She initially decided to divorce Kanagi, but settled the dispute after a few months.

Later, Kanagi returned to Pune and entered into a criminal conspiracy with Gangadhare and his cousin Mayur Totelu to kill Gawde, because of whom his marital life had become miserable. To execute the plan, the threesome rented Gawde's vehicle and took him to Wakad and then to Katraj, where Kanagi assaulted him with a sharp weapon. Thinking he was dead, the suspects dumped Gawde on Saswad-Kapurhol Road. The suspects returned to the scene to collect Gawde's driving licence, so that the body would remain unidentified. However, they found Gawde alive and shouting for help. The suspects then bludgeoned him to death and fled with his licence.

A police team comprising sub-inspector V S Bhosale, assistant sub-inspector P K Bhosale and policemen Ganesh Dabhade, Nandkumar Kekan, Rajendra Nirge and Sandeep Gorhe, under superintendent of police Sandeep Karnik and deputy superintendent of police (home) Shankar Jadhav arrested Kanagi and Gangadhare from their hideouts on June 11 and 12.

The police team recovered the car which was abandoned behind a mall at Fatimanagar, while the handset and a sharp weapon were found from the suspects. The police are on the lookout for the third suspect, Totelu.