Pune sessions court on Thursday convicted a 36-year-old architect of brutally murdering a woman in August 2010. Santosh Namdev Bhukan,a resident of Lohegaon,was held guilty of kidnapping,murder and destroying evidence.
Additional Sessions Judge S P Tawade will pronounce the quantum of sentence on Friday.
According to police,32-year-old Vaishali Kadam worked as a receptionist at Bhukans company Vatsala Arch,and the two were in a relationship. Though she quit the job some time later,the relationship continued. Vaishali was married to a security guard and had a six-year-old daughter.
Police said when Vaishalis husband discovered the relationship,he abandoned her and went to Sangli along with their daughter. This,police said,resulted into her getting closer to Bhukan,who too was married and father of a six-year-old boy.
Police said when Vaishali insisted that Bhukan should divorce his wife and marry her by 2010 Diwali,he decided to kill her.
On August 10,2010,Bhukan drove Vaishali to his farmhouse at Pondey-Malshiraj village,about 70 km from Pune. On the way,he offered her a drink laced with sleeping pills. By the the time they reached the farmhouse,Vaishali had fallen unconscious,police said. He strangled her with a rope and dumped her body in a pit at an under-construction site,they added.
To cover up the murder,Bhukan allegedly made one of his former female employees send a message from Vaishalis cellphone to her relatives,saying she was safe but wanted to stay away from the family as she had tested positive for HIV. ACP Prakash Gharge,the then senior police inspector and in-charge of the Airport police station,investigated the case.
Power theft: Hotel owner fined Rs 7.76 lakh
Additional sessions judge V K Shewale on Thursday imposed a penalty of Rs 7.76 lakh on a hotel owner for stealing electricity worth Rs 2.55 lakh in 2006. Police said Vijay Bhagwan Shetty (50),a resident of Varve village in Bhor,used to slow down the meter speed using a remote control. Police said on January 18,2006,when a flying squad of MSDCL raided Hotel Natraj owned by Shetty and his residence they found that the electricity meters were tampered with. Investigation revealed that Shetty used to slow down the meter speed by up to 52 per cent,causing a theft of 32,661 units. Shetty was fined three times the theft amount as per the provisions of the Electricity Act. Additional public prosecutor Laxman Maindad examined four witnesses to prove the charges against the accused.