The Inside Story
MUMBAI: The Oshiwara police on Tuesday arrested a businessman's third wife for plotting the murder of his second wife with the help of their driver last week.

The woman, who already has a child from her first husband, allegedly established an illicit relationship with the driver to persuade him to execute the killing.

Late last Wednesday, residents of Green Park housing society in Oshiwara alerted the police after noticing smoke emanating from the victim's fifth-floor flat. The police found a woman's body in the flat. The businessman, Sunil Darekar (50), told the police that the deceased, Sushma (40), was his second wife and her ornaments were missing.

The police arrested the driver, Pravin Kajave, and his accomplice, Nilesh Chavan (19), in the case. The two told the police that they had strangulated Sushma to steal her ornaments and set fire to the flat in a bid to make the death look like an accident. However, on sustained interrogation, they disclosed that Darekar's third wife, Vanita Gopwani (32), had plotted the killing. Vanita has been remanded in police custody till April 20.

"Vanita engaged Kajave in a physical relationship and then persuaded him to kill Sushma," said an investigator. "Both the victim and Vanita had earlier worked in the businessman's office. Vanita told the driver that Sushma's death would allow her to slowly takeover Darekar's business as his first wife had little knowledge about the hoarding business. She promised Kajave that she would continue their relationship."

Kajave knew the address of Darekar's all three wives-the first wife lives in Vakola, Sushma resided in Oshiwara and Vanita in Koparkhairane.

On the day of the incident, Kajave and Chavan went to Sushma's flat on the pretext of some work. They almost dropped the plan to kill her as she had treated them well and offered them lunch. They even said goodbye and left her house. However, they changed their mind and went back. They gained entry to Sushma's house again after telling her that they had left their cellphone behind. While Sushma was searching for the phone, the two strangulated her. They had carried a petrol bottle with them to burn the entire house after keeping the gas on, but decided to set fire only to the bedroom after realizing that they may not escape unhurt after setting the entire flat ablaze.

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