A 45-year-old medical practitioner arrested for the murder of an anganwadi worker in Maharashtra’s Satara district has confessed to killing five more people, police said on Monday.
Police, who have recovered the body of the anganwadi worker and four more human remains from Santosh Pol’s farm in Wai tehsil, were not clear about the motive behind the killings. Pol, they said, threw away the body of one of his victims in a nearby dam.
Pol killed five women and a man by administering lethal doses of medicines to them, Wai police inspector Padmakar Ghanvat was quoted as saying by IANS.
All of them were missing since 2003 from villages close to Wai, a small picturesque town at the base of the Mahableshwar-Panchgani twin hill stations, where many Hindi films have been shot.
Police stumbled upon the murders while investigating the disappearance of 49-year-old Mangala Jedhe, who went missing on June 16. An anganwadi worker, Jedhe was also the president of the Maharashtra Purva Prathmik Shikshika Sevika Sangh (MPPSSS).
“She had left Wai for Pune for her daughter’s delivery but never reached there,” MPPSSS general secretary Shaukat Pathan said.
Before leaving for Pune, Jedhe had spoken to Pol. The two fought bitterly when Jedhe threatened to make public the doctor’s “criminal activities”, police said.
Pol and his associates, including nurse Jyoti Mandre, allegedly abducted Jedhe from the Wai bus depot and took her to his farmhouse 13km away, where they gave her the lethal injection. Police found that the last call made from Jedhe’s phone was to Pol, who was arrested on August 13 after Mandre’s interrogation. Mandre , too, has been arrested.
Pol said he was in a relationship with both Jedhe and Mandre. Jedhe was unhappy about his affair with Mandre and had threatened to go public, so they decided to kill her, police said.
Pol admitted burying the body at his farmhouse. Police found a skeleton as they were digging for the body. They questioned Pol who on Monday night allegedly confessed to five more murders.
Police are exploring possibility of a kidney racket as the reason for the serial killings. Land dispute, illicit relations and robbery – the women who were murdered all used to wear heavy gold jewellery -- are the other angles being probed.
Police are also investigating Pol’s education credentials. The medical course he took was derecognised a few years back.
(With agency inputs)