For more than two decades, farmer Dilip Ramchandra Salunke, 39, has been helping the police retrieve the mangled remains of accident victims from the dense vegetation of the Kumbharli Ghat, near Chiplun, on the Satara-Goa highway.
But collecting the remains of aspiring Bollwood producer, Karan Kakkad, whose body was hacked to pieces and thrown into the Ghat allegedly by Vijay Palande and his associate, Dhananjaya Shinde, on March 8 has been his most daunting, horrifying experience, Salunke said.
“I had never before seen such a brutalised body, not even the charred remains of accident victims. I could barely eat anything for two days after I pulled out his rotting head from a polythene bag. I drank alcohol to cope,” said the villager, pointing to the thick bushes in the ravines of the 17-km-long Ghat, located 300 km from Mumbai.
“Finding the torso was worse, and my work is still not over. The legs are yet to be found.”
Salunke lives in Ghatmata village, on the foothills of the treacherous Kumbharli Ghat, and grows paddy, the only seasonal crop in the Konkan region.
His familiarity with the Ghat’s topography, however, has the police seeking his help to locate vehicles that fall into the ravines.
He gets “baksheesh [tip]” for his efforts.