The husband of a recently elected sarpanch of a village near Pune was allegedly killed by her rival candidate’s husband to avenge his wife’s defeat. The suspect and his accomplice have been arrested.
On the morning of March 13, the victim, Balasaheb Sopan Vanshiv (52), was hit by a car while he was on his morning walk and he later succumbed to injuries. The incident took place on the service road of the Mumbai-Bengaluru highway at Ambegaon Khurd. The car went past Vanshiv and his friend, Prakash Tilekar, a few times before it hit the former from the back and fled the spot. Vanshiv was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.
Three days after the incident, Vanshiv’s wife Meenakshi approached police and alleged that someone had tried to kill her husband. She also told the police that some persons had held a grudge against Vanshiv after she won the Gram Panchayat election, held at the end of 2018, in Narhe village. “After receiving the complaint, we launched a probe and looked at footage from some security cameras in nearby areas. We identified the persons in the car, one of whom is the husband of the candidate Meenakshi defeated in the election,” said Sub-inspector Mahendra Patil.
Police have arrested the suspect, Avinash Kailas Kamble (39), and his alleged accomplice Nitish Thopte (30). They also suspect that more people were involved in the conspiracy to murder Vanshiv. PSI Patil added, “We now know that after the election results were declared, Kamble had threatened Vanshiv. He and Kamble are distant relatives and also had an ongoing dispute over a piece of land in the village.”
When asked if Kamble and Vanshiv belong to a political party, Senior Inspector Vishnu Pawar of Bharti Vidyapeeth police station said, “They do not belong to any particular political party but were part of opposing panels formed to contest the Gram Panchayat elections. Along with political rivalry over the election, they also had an old dispute over a piece of land.”