February 1, 2021 12:25:05 am
Fourteen months after he mysteriously disappeared while driving a car from Pimpri-Chinchwad in Pune to Indore in Madhya Pradesh, the decomposed body of 41-year-old Sanjay Ahire was found inside the car on Saturday, submerged in a well at Sinnar taluka in Nashik.
The police said that Ahire had gone missing on November 20, 2019, after he left from Wakad in Pune to hand over the Maruti Suzuki Swift car to his employer’s father in Indore.
Around 9.30 am on Saturday, the car was found inside a 50-ft deep well at Panchale-Pangri road in Sinnar. The MIDC Sinnar police station received a call from a farmer informing that a car has been found floating in his farm’s well.
Assistant Sub-Inspector Gorakh Balak of MIDC Sinnar police said, “We initially believed that the car must have fallen in the well a night before. But during the course of interrogation, we found that the car has been inside the well for the last 14 months.”
As the police pulled out the car with the help of a crane, the officers found some documents of the vehicle, with the help of which they reached out to the control room of Indore Police and contacted the owner of the vehicle, Dinesh Tiwari.
“Ahire worked as a driver and used to drop off vehicles from one state to another,” said Sub-Inspector Maqsood Muneer from Wakad police station in Pimpri-Chinchwad. After dropping off a car in Delhi, he had come to Pimpri-Chinchwad on November 19, 2019.
The police said that Dinesh Tiwari’s son Shitij wanted to get a Swift car taken to his father’s residence in Indore. “Shitij works as an IT engineer in Pimpri-Chinchwad. He got Ahire’s number through a friend and hired him to take his car to Indore,” said Muneer.
Ahire started his journey from Wakad on November 20. “However, his phone was found switched off in some time. As his relatives could not reach him, they approached the Wakad police and lodged a missing person’s report on November 22,” Muneer added.
Believing that Ahire has stolen his car, Shitij also filed a complaint with Wakad police, following which, a case of criminal breach of trust was registered.
“Since then, we have been looking for him. We had traced his last location to Sangamner (in Ahmednagar). Our teams visited Sangamner and Nashik multiple times but we could not find him. We even sent a wireless message regarding the case across Maharashtra,” said Muneer.
In the meantime, Ahire’s brother Prakash was looking for him too. “I travelled from Pimpri-Chinchwad to Indore but could not trace him,” he said.
The police suspect that the incident was the result of a burst tyre. “We have found that the left side tyre had burst… we believe that the driver may have lost control of the car and landed in the well,” said Balak.
The police further said that the well is not often used by the villagers and thus the car was not spotted earlier.
“On Saturday morning, the farmer’s son had peeked into the well as the motor was not drawing water. He then saw the car,” said Balak.
The police said that Ahire is a resident of Malegaon and is survived by his wife and two daughters. While the police have collected DNA samples and are awaiting reports, Ahire’s family has claimed the body and conducted his final rites.
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