In their probe into multiple cases of rape and murder, the Gadchiroli police have hit a roadblock after people in the villages from where the suspects claimed to have picked up their victims refused to confirm the identity of the girls.
They suspect that the accused may have hoodwinked the parents of victims by telling them that the girls had joined Naxals, a probable reason why their families are not willing to own them up.
“They all are saying girls by these names didn’t belong to their villages,” said Superintendent of Police Sandip Patil.
While probing the murder of a girl, Sangita from Hemalkasa near Bhamragarh, police were stunned when the suspect told them that he and his four accomplices, all from Kasampalli village in Aheri tehsil, had raped and killed at least 12 girls.
Sangita was allegedly killed by her fiancé Manoj Sadmek, a forest guard, with help from his four accomplices.
According to police, Sadmek had sent a message from Sangita’s mobile to her family that she was safe and had joined Naxals and they shouldn’t bother Sadmek for it.
Sangita’s mother Janaki said, “He tried to mislead us by sending an SMS from her mobile that she had joined Naxals.”
Incidentally, one of the accused, Maruti Veladi, is a close associate of Sainath, the self-styled commander of Perimili Dalam, an outfit that reigns in the area.
Most of the girls were either killed by impact of stone or bamboo. Some of the bodies were buried. “We will take the accused to the spots to find out if we can get the remains,” the SP said.