The Pune police have arrested Bengaluru-based ‘friend’ of the software engineer who was stabbed to death last Friday for his alleged role in the crime. Cops said Santosh Kumar, 24, told them that he has asked one of his friends in Pune to keep an eye on 23-year-old Antara Das and enure that no harm comes her way. The police brought Kumar to Pune from Bengaluru for further questioning.
“During the interrogation, Santosh Kumar gave us information related to the crime. We have now arrested him,” said additional superintendent of police Rajkumar Shinde, adding, “He is providing us vital information.”
Sources said Kumar told the investigators that another person had murdered Das. They added that Kumar had initially told the cops that he was in Bengaluru when Antara was attacked, setting them out on a wild goose chase. Investigators said they managed a breakthrough on Wednesday following Kumar’s arrest.
Das, a techie from Kolkata was working with Capgemini in Talawade near Pune, was stabbed to death at KNB Square in Talawade when she was returning from the office on Friday evening. Antara’s family has expressed suspicion about the possible role of Kumar in her murder. Based on the family’s suspicion, the police began went to Bengaluru to grill him.
Antara’s father Debananda said, “When I inquired with my younger daughter about Antara, she told me that a boy [Santosh] was harassing her. I suspect his involvement in the murder.”
Antara had met Santosh during her training in Bengaluru, who alleged stalked her all the way to Pune and once again proposed her before she was to appear for an interview at the Capgemini office.
“As far as we know, Antara had turned down his [Santosh’s] proposal in Bengaluru itself. However, he followed her to Pune with the same request. Though she had informed us about him, we did not lodge a complaint because we did not think he could go to the extent of killing her,” said Panchanan Das, Antara’s uncle.
On the day Antara was murdered, she declined to avail the company’s bus service saying she would take an auto rickshaw to Nigadi where she lived as a paying guest. However, she did not take an auto and instead started walking towards her friend’s residence when she was attacked.