“Prima facie investigation revealed that Handore, who had appeared in the MPSC exam but failed to clear it, was disturbed over Pawar’s refusal to marry him and her family’s move to support her decision by looking for a suitable match for her,” Pune rural superintendent of police (SP) Ankit Goyal said on Thursday.
“The victim was first assaulted with a stone on the head, which we have recovered from the scene of crime and sent for a forensic analysis ofthe blood stains on it. Later, she was stabbed with a sharp weapon. We are yet to recover the sharp weapon and the motorcycle the suspect used for taking the victim to Rajgad from Pune,” the SP said.
“While on the run, the suspect was changing his locations, posing a challenge to the investigators in tracing him. More details will emerge once we interrogate him incustody,” Goyal said.
Pawar had gone to Pune from her native place in Kopargaon taluka of Ahmednagar district on June 9 to attend afelicitation programme arranged by her coaching centre for the successful students. She stayed back in Pune for the next two days. On June 12, Pawar left her friend’s house in Narhe telling the latter that she was going to Sinhagad fort with Handore. Both were since reported missing.
Pawar’s decomposed body with multiple injury marks on head and other parts of the body was found on a hillock at Gunjavani at the foothills of Rajgad fort on June 18, three to four days after her and Handore’s families had lodged missing person’s complaints with the Sinhagad Road and the Warje police.
The Velhe police were probing the murder of Pawar. Goyal said, “Pawar and Handore were childhood friends and had prepared for their MPSC exam at the same coaching centre in Sadashiv Peth. Handore is a BSc (botany). Pawar was a BSc (mathematics).”
He added, “Handore worked part-time with a food aggregator and had recently proposed to Pawar for marriage, but she refused. We have questioned him on this and he has confessed to have killed her. He took her to the Rajgad fort for trekking. They reached the fort around 8.45am and Handore came down alone around 10.45am.”
A senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, said, “CCTV footage at different spots shows Handore riding the motorcycle and Pawar riding pillion on their way to Rajgad fort.”
He said, “On the return leg to Pune, Handore was seen riding alone. He parked his motorcycle somewhere in the city and went to Kolhapur. He boarded a train to Chandigarh from there and later went to Delhi. He withdrew some money from an ATM in Delhi and went to Kolkata. He was travelling aimlessly on passenger trains.”
The officer added, “We received a tip-off that Handore was heading to Mumbai on atrain. Our team went to the Andheri railway station and arrested him.”
Pawar had been missing for five days, when a few locals found a decomposed body on a hillock in Gunjavane village at the foothills of Rajgad fort. Pawar had suffered multiple injuries, including a head injury andstab wounds.
During the probe to search for the accused, Investigators had examined CCTV footage collected from various spots along the Pune-Satara Road, Katraj and the Narsapur-Velhe Road as he was spotted alone on a motorcycle returning towards Pune.