The son of a bus conductor and father of two children, Santosh Pol, did not share a cordial relationship with most of his relatives and acquaintances, claimed sources. Even though people trusted his capabilities as a doctor, they would stay away from him due to his “troublesome” ways.
According to Dr Vidhadhar Ghotwadekar, who owns a private hospital in Wai, Pol had worked with him for almost eight years but he was sacked in 2015 after he instigated the hospital staff to go on a strike. Dr Ghotwadekar, however, helped Pol run an ambulance business but had to register a complaint against him after Pol ran away with an ambulance on July 25, 2016.
Dr Ghotwadekar further said that even though Pol would only assist him in his work, he had acquired all the medical skills and necessary knowledge to practice as a doctor. Pol had in fact been a student of Bachelor of Electropathy Medicine and Surgery before the government de-recognised the course. However, even without having completed his medical education, Dr Ghotwadekar admitted that Pol has “outstanding medical understanding”.
Pol, who worked with couple of hospitals around Wai for a few years, had opened dispensaries in Dhom and in the neighbouring Wadiwale village. Residents of Dhom village said that people had benefited because of the medicines Pol had prescribed to them and would call him “doctor saheb” out of respect. Due to his efficiency as a doctor nobody doubted the authenticity of his degree.
However, Pol was known to pick quarrels with the villagers, especially with the elderly. So most of the people in Dhom, where Pol used to reside, would prefer to stay away from him. Pol had also contested the gram panchayat election a few years ago but could not win it. After the death of his parents, he had a fight with his younger brother and moved to Wai with his wife and kids. But even in Wai, he was far from causing trouble. He used to scare people by threatening to use the Right to Information Act against them.
He had established a good relationship with a few police officers and would carry a lot of clout because of it. In fact, after he caught three police officers while they were accepting bribe, even the police began to be wary of him, claimed sources. A case of extortion was lodged against him in 2015 but there was hardly any progress in it.
After he was summoned by the police because of his alleged involvement in Mangala Jedhe’s kidnapping case, Pol retaliated by filing a complaint against Jedhe claiming that she had taken gold from him. He also claimed that he was recently attacked by some unidentified people.
On the other hand, while local Ganesh mandals on the way from Wai to Dhom, put up has put up hoardings congratulating the police for their headway into the investigation, Jyoti Mandhare, who used to work as a nurse with Pol has threatened to self-immolate, accusing the police of trying to frame Pol in the case.