A 32-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly killing a 19-year-old woman and trying to destroy evidence by setting the body ablaze. Police said the accused had an extra-marital affair with the woman. The incident took place in the foothills of Waghjai Hill, Visnagar village, on March 15, and came to light on Friday, police said. “Accused Vipul Bhavarlal Shah, a resident of Manikbaug, is married and has two kids. He stays with his family on Sinhagad Road and owns a grocery shop,” said police. His employee Lahu Gonate, who assisted Shah in the alleged murder, has also been booked. Gonate is on the run, added an officer.
The victim has been identified as Prerna Shashikant Kamble, a resident of Shivane on NDA Road. Police said Kambale was in a relationship with Shah. She worked at a gas agency in the area, where Shah ran the grocery shop. For the last few days, Kambale was allegedly demanding money from Shah and had threatened to expose the affair to his family. “Shah hatched a plot to kill Kamble with the help of his employee Gonate. Gonate and Shah kidnapped Kamble on March 15, drove to Paud and then towards Lonavala. At an isolated spot, the two took her out of the car and strangled her with a rope. Shah poured petrol on her body and set her ablaze near Waghjai Hills,” said police.
Meanwhile, Kamble’s parents had lodged a missing person’s report. Her body was recovered from the spot a few days later. During investigation, police scanned Kamble’s phone records and the CCTV footage from the area. “The CCTV footage showed Kamble boarding a red car. We took the registration number of the vehicle and found it to be belonging to Shah,” the officer said. Shah was questioned and had told police that he had invited Kamble for a picnic to Lonavala. “She joined them around 2.30 pm on March 15,” the police said.