Two persons, including a sadhu, were found murdered in Nanded district early Sunday.
Police said the sadhu, Swami Shivacharya Rudra (33) of Pashupati Math in Nanded, was found murdered in the mutt, while the body of Bhagwan Shinde (50) – a suspected associate of the accused – was found in a nearby zilla parishad school.
Officers claimed a local villager and follower of the sadhu – Sainath Langote (25) – was behind the two murders and prima facie the motive behind the murder was robbery. Langote had a case of murder and molestation registered against him in the past.
Nanded SP Vijaykumar Magar said that the incident took place around 3 am on Sunday when Langote went to the mutt with the intent to rob him. The main door was open and the sadhu was resting in his private room, which only has a ply wood barrier separating it from the main room.
“We suspect Langote had jumped over the barrier to gain entry, due to which the sadhu must have woken up. We have found chilli powder in the room, so he must have thrown it in the sadhu’s eyes. The room was completely ransacked and there are marks on the walls indicating that the deceased resisited the attack. Eventually, Langote throttled him to death with a rope,” Magar said.
“Langote then took a laptop, Rs 71,000 in cash and other valuables from the room. He also dragged the sadhu’s body to the latter’s four-wheeler to dispose it. However, the vehicle crashed into the gate of the ashram and some of the sadhu’s followers saw this. They suspected that Langote was stealing the four-wheeler,” Magar said.
“As the car was locked, the followers broke its windows and saw the body, along with the laptop and other valuables,” he added. By then, Langote had fled from the spot in a stolen motorbike. “Langote was later apprehended from the Telangana border,” the officer said.
Within some time, the police came to know about the body of another person, Bhagwan Shinde, being found in the bathroom of a zilla parishad school near the Math.
“Shinde had been seen moving around with Langote since Saturday morning. We suspect that Langote wanted Shinde to accompany him to rob the sadhu. However, when Shinde refused, he was murdered. Prima facie the motive behind the two murders is robbery,” Magar said.
He added that nearly 10 years ago, Langote and his father had been apprehended in connection with a murder case. “Even 15 days ago, there was a case of molestation registered against Langote,” Magar said, adding that Shinde did not have any prior criminal record.
Last month, three persons, including two sadhus, were lynched over rumours of child lifting in Palghar district. Over 100 people were arrested in the case and the district police superintendent was sent on forced leave.
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