The Thane police on Wednesday arrested one of its own officers for allegedly raping a 20-year-old woman from Pune. The police identified the accused as Santosh Sonawane, a sub-inspector attached with the Mumbra police station.
Investigators said that the matter came to light after two constables from Pune’s Wanawadi police station approached the Thane police on Wednesday in search of a missing 20-year-old woman, whose cellphone tower location had been traced to Kalwa.
“We found the woman with Sonawane in an apartment in Kalwa. She has told us she was being wrongfully restrained and that Sonawane brought her to Mumbai on the pretext of helping her get admission in a graduation course and also with the promise of marriage,” said a senior Thane police officer.
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Sonawane was acquainted with the victim because she lived in the same area in Pune where his wife and family have been living for the last 18 months, the police said.
“Sonawane visited Pune almost every fortnight. According to the victim, on March 13, he sexually assaulted her when she was alone at home. He repeated the act on March 18,” said the officer.
Following this, Sonawane allegedly blackmailed the victim that he would commit suicide if she did not come and live with him, the police said.
“On April 23, Sonawane arranged for the victim to travel from Pune to Kalyan railway station. He then took her to a rented apartment in Kalwa, where he held her captive. The victim claims she was sexually assaulted numerous times and was not allowed to contact her family,” the officer added.
Sonawane is expected to be transferred to the custody of the Wanawadi police on Thursday, as the first offence was in Pune.