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Failing to make any headway in the murder investigation of Antara Das, the 23-year-old software engineer killed in December last year, the Pune Rural Police have announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for anyone with information about her killers. Police have also appealed to Puneites to come forward if they have any information about Das’s murderers, and assured that they will not reveal the identity of the informant. Those with information can contact the local Crime Branch of Pune Rural Police on 9423884745, 9420827001, 9923481235 and 9823232421.
Das was stabbed multiple times with a sharp weapon while she was walking through Canbay Square, located near her office in Talawade, on December 23 last year. A passer-by, Satyendra Sinha, saw Antara lying in a pool of blood and rushed her to a private hospital, but she died soon. Later, Sinha lodged a complaint of murder at the Dehu Road police station.
On December 28, police had arrested Santoshkumar Gupta (24), an IT professional from Bengaluru. He was booked under sections 302 (murder), 120 (b) and 23 of the Indian Penal Code. But police failed to find any evidence against him, and he was granted bail in March. Das, who hailed from West Bengal, had met Gupta in Bengaluru, where she had gone in 2015 for a course in advanced technical training in software engineering, said police. Das came to Pune in April 2016 and joined Capgemini. She was living as a paying guest in Nigdi Pradhikaran area. However, Gupta allegedly started harassing her and he called her repeatedly to propose to her.
According to police, Das had blocked his number to get rid of him, but Gupta continued to call her from other numbers. Das had told her family members about the “harassment” by Gupta, said police.
After Gupta’s arrest, police realised that he was in Bengaluru on the day of the murder. Police looked into the possibility of whether he had hired anyone to kill Das, but they could find no evidence. As police could not file a chargesheet against him in the stipulated time of 90 days, he was released on bail.