Days after software engineer Antara Das was murdered in the IT Park in Talawade, police on Wednesday arrested Santosh Kumar (24), after he allegedly admitted to his role in the heinous crime. Kumar, who was picked up from Bengaluru and brought to Pune on Monday, broke down while being questioned and revealed the details of his plan to murder Antara, said police. Das, a 23-year-old techie from Kolkata who was working with Capgemini, was stabbed to death at Kanbay Chowk in Talawade while she was returning from office on Friday evening. Kumar apparently tasked someone else to kill Antara, said Additional Superintendent of Police Rajkumar Shinde, adding, “we have arrested him in connection with the murder”.
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“Since he told us that another person murdered Antara, we are investigating the matter further,” he said.
Police sources revealed that Kumar had paid money to someone else to attack Antara. However, police refused to reveal anything about the “assailant”, saying they were confirming the veracity of Kumar’s statement.
“We will not reveal who he is and whether he is from Pune. The matter is being investigated,” said Shinde.
Police said the murder seemed to be a fall-out of Kumar’s infatuation with Antara. “Earlier, he had stalked the victim when she was in Bengaluru for her training…” said a police officer. After Antara’s family informed police that a Bengaluru-based youth used to harass Antara, a police team from Pune had visited the city and started questioning Kumar. However, during investigation, police found that Kumar was not in Pune on the day of the murder.
“Since Kumar is saying he was not in Pune on the day of the murder, his confession… that he got another person to commit the crime… could be true. But nothing can be said for certain…he could be trying to mislead the investigators,” said police sources. Police have also launched a search to trace the other person involved in the murder. According to Antara’s father Debananda Das, after Antara turned down the youth’s advances, he had allegedly come to Pune and threatened to kill her.
On the day of the murder, Antara, who used to take the company bus every day, was going to go home in an autorickshaw. “She had written autorickshaw in the exit register of the company,” said police.
After the attack, two motorcyclists took Antara to a nearby hospital, where she was declared dead. One of the eye-witnesses told police that he had seen the attacker, who was wearing a T-shirt with black and blue stripes, fleeing the spot.