KALYAN: A 40-year-old woman and a hitman were arrested on Friday night for the alleged murder of her 44-year-old husband in Kalyan following the victim’s opposition to the sale of a Rs 15-crore property that he owned. Police said the woman, Asha Gaikwad, had promised Rs 30 lakh to Himanshu Dubey, and paid him Rs 4 lakh as advance for the hit job.
Police have launched a hunt to track down three other accused who are suspected of aiding the duo in the crime. They have been identified as Jagan Mahatre, Raj Singh and Pritam.
Police said they have accessed call records of the woman’s chats with friends about her husband’s opposition to the property sale and her plan to get him killed.
Victim Shankar Gaikwad’s family alleged that Asha wanted to sell off a 25,000-square-feet property owned by her husband and had accepted Rs 4 lakh as advance from a developer. The relatives have demanded a probe into the developer’s role in the crime too.
Shankar, a property dealer, lived inTisgaon in Kalyan (East) with Asha and their three children aged eight, 10 and 12.
Sources said on May 21, Asha approached Kolsewadi police to report that Shankar had gone missing since May 18 after leaving for Satara to visit a religious place.
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Shankar’s family said they suspected Asha as she did not appear to be worried about her husband and they were also unhappy with the police probe.
On May 25, Shankar’s family wrote to senior police officials, including the ACP and the DCP, demanding an investigation into the disappearance.
Suvarna Pawshe, Shankar’s relative, said, “When we learned that Asha had wanted to sell Shankar’s property against his wishes, we once again approached senior officials, who handed over the case to senior police inspector Kavi Gavit of Kolsewadi police.”
Police sources said Gavit checked Asha’s mobile phone and chat records to find that she was in constant touch with Dubey. Cops grilled both of them together and they reportedly confessed to the crime.
During her interrogation, Asha told cops that she had decided to get her husband killed because he was against her phone chats. Asha further said she gave an advance of Rs 4 lakh as part of the promised Rs 30 lakh supari to Dubey. The three other accused who aided the crime are at large.
The police said on May 18, Asha allegedly served sedative-laced juice to Shankar and he fell unconscious. Himanshu and the other accused thereafter took Shankar in an autorickshaw to an isolated spot between Wangani and Neral, where they assaulted him with iron rods and stabbed him to death.
Police said on Friday they visited the spot and recovered the decomposed body. After conducting a panchnama, they handed over the body to Shakar’s two brothers in Kalyan.
Kishor Gaikwad, Shankar’s younger brother, “So far, the police have told us that Asha killed my brother because he was against her using the phone to chat but we have strong doubts about her motive and the role of some developer in the crime. Asha did not have money to pay the ransom amount on her own and she wanted to sell the property which my brother opposed.”
Kishor further alleged that Asha had accepted money from the builder and some politicians were eying the property.
DCP Sanjay Shinde said, “The probe is in the preliminary stage and we investigating all angles, including the property issue.”
Senior police inspector Gavit said, “So far, we have not found the role of any builder in the killing but our probe is on.”