Maharashtra stunned by 2 grisly 'beheadings' of recently-wedded women
The latest incident occurred in the tiny hill-station of Matheran in Raigad on Sunday, preceded by the 'honour-killing' of a pregnant woman in Aurangabad the previous Sunday
Two gruesome cases of 'beheading' of recently-married young women, including one who was pregnant and another allegedly a victim of dowry, in just a week have rocked the state, officials said in Raigad.
The latest incident occurred in the tiny hill-station of Matheran in Raigad on Sunday, preceded by the 'honour-killing' of a pregnant woman in Aurangabad the previous Sunday.
"We have arrested the accused, an IT engineer from Panvel, who allegedly killed his wife, dismembered her head, carried it around 200 metres away from the homestay and flung it into a 200-feet-deep ravine at an isolated spot in the hill-station," Matheran Police Station Assistant Police Inspector Sanjay Bangar told IANS.
Early on Sunday the accused -- Ramsilochal Pal, 30, hacked off the head of his wife, Poonam Pal, 27, left her naked body in the bathroom of the homestay and decamped from there under cover of darkness.
After he was nabbed from Panvel, during police interrogation, Pal revealed the spot where he had hurled his wife's head and a local trekker helped the police recover it from the deep valley.
A local resident said that there was another family living in the homestay but they had checked out early on Sunday, leaving the Pal couple alone.
"The Pals had checked in on December 11 (Saturday) evening without prior booking. They appeared like a happy and normal, recently-married couple on a honeymoon... Nothing appeared amiss till around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning when the man left the place for some urgent work," the local told IANS, requesting anonymity.
It was only around 9 a.m. when a friend of the homestay owners reached the place to find the Pal couple's room locked, indicating they had checked-out.
Only much later, when they opened the door for the daily housekeeping chores did the ghastly crime come to light, jolting the residents and hundreds of weekend tourists thronging the sleepy hill resort, barely 90 kms from Mumbai.
Bangar said the names and addresses they provided were fake, but they zeroed in on Pal after scanning the CCTVs in the vicinity and swooped on him in Panvel, and also located Poonam's purse in which a Goregaon address was found.
"The accused has confessed to the crime, he will be produced before the Karjat Court later today (December 14)... Further investigations are on," the police official said.
Detailing the probe so far, he said the couple hailed from Sant Ravidas Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh, and the victim Poonam was working as a nurse in Goregaon, north-west Mumbai.
The duo had been married in May, but the post-nuptials rituals and wedding consummation had not taken place.
During this period, Pal suspected his wife of adultery, while the woman's family has alleged that despite spending nearly a million rupees on their wedding, the boy's side demanded expensive gifts and other articles as dowry.
According to Bangar, with the dowry angle surfacing alongside infidelity, Pal's family would also be made part of the investigations.
Investigators said the cold-blooded murder was apparently pre-planned as the accused had visited Matheran a few days earlier and conducted a recce of various spots.
This is the second such incident, coming a week after the murder and beheading of a 19-year-old pregnant woman, Kishori alias Kirti Thore, with a sickle in Goygaon, Aurangabad, by her mother Shobha S. Mote and younger brother Sanket S. Mote.
After committing the heinous, premeditated deed of 'honour-killing', the mother-son later clicked selfies with Kirti's severed body, placed her head outside her home before surrendering to the Vaijapur Police.