Absconding since 1993,the 60-yr-old stayed in Gujarat,Karnataka,MP and several parts of Maharashtra before moving to Mangaon near Hinjewadi.
The crime branch of Pune police has arrested a 60-year-old man in connection with the April 6 double murder of a woman and her daughter near Hinjewadi. Investigations revealed that accused Dattaguru Maharaj,who earned a living by providing astrological solutions to people visiting a temple near Hinjewadi,was actually G Kanakraju of Siddhi Peth in Andhra Pradesh who had been absconding after killing his wife and daughter in Nashik two decades ago,police said.
On April 6,2013,Kanakraju allegedly killed one Subhadra Kashiram Chavan (35) and her daughter Basanti (one and a half year) at their house in Mangaon near Hinjewadi. Subhadras father Jagannath Gangaram Kale (55),who is originally from Gulbarga,Karnataka,but currently residing in Mangaon,had lodged a complaint in this connection with the Hinjewadi police.
As crime branch teams,under the leadership of Inspector Sunil Pawar,fanned out to conduct search operations in Karnataka,Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh,a team led by Assistant Police Inspector Jalinder Tandale nabbed Kanakraju from a temple in Bhopal on Friday. He was brought to Pune and arrested on Saturday.
Investigations revealed that he had brutally murdered his wife Padma (then 30 years old) and four-year-old daughter Shirisha at Century Lodge in Nagpur way back on October 8,1993,by strangulating them with a saree and assaulting them with sharp pieces of a broken bottle of beer. A double murder case was registered against him at Ganesh Peth police station in Nagpur. However,he managed to flee after the crime and had been absconding ever since, said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rajendra Bhamre.
Police said Kanakraju stayed at different places of worship in Maharashtra,Gujarat,Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. He started calling himself Dattaguru Maharaj and would give astrological solutions to people visiting the temples.
Police said he came in contact with Subhadras family in Gulbarga. A mother of five,Subhadra was separated from her husband. She had shifted to Mangaon with her parents and was working at a brick kiln. She later started staying in Kanakrajus house at Mangaon,along with her daughter,to serve the godman.
Investigations revealed that Subhadra was demanding Rs 3 lakh from Kanakraju,due to which he was upset and this eventually led to the murders. Around 2 am on April 3,he allegedly tied the mother-daughter duo with a rope and then hit on their heads with an iron rod,causing their death. Kanakraju then locked the house and fled. The bodies were recovered in a decomposed state on the morning of April 6. Police had found liquor bottles and 25 SIM cards from the spot.