A woman and her friend were arrested Monday in connection with the murder of Nityanand Pandey, owner and editor-in-chief of India Unbound, a news portal and magazine with offices in Andheri and Mira Road.
The woman, who reportedly worked with the magazine for past three years, accused Pandey of harassing her for the past two years, police said.
According to Bhiwandi taluka police, the woman and her friend on Friday took Pandey to Uttan in a car on the pretext of showing him a row house. “The accused allegedly made Pandey drink a sedative-laced protein shake and strangled him with a rope after he lost consciousness. They later threw his body off the Kharbao bridge at Khardi village in Bhiwandi,” a senior officer from Thane rural police said.
Pandey’s body was recovered from under the bridge on Saturday, a day after he had reportedly gone missing.
Sanjay Hajare, senior inspector of Bhiwandi taluka police station, said: “The two accused are in our custody. One of the accused, a woman, has levelled harassment charges against Pandey. We are investigating the veracity of her claims and probing all other angles too.” Hajare said the woman’s friend worked at the printing press that published India Unbound magazine.
Police traced the two accused by using their cell phone locations. “Pandey’s phone was last traced to Kashimira and the cell phones of the two accused were also traced to the same area at that time. We have interrogated the accused,” an investigating officer said.