A 47-year-old woman from Malwani has been arrested for allegedly attempting to kill her 19-year-old daughter, along with her 36-year-old paramour, an ayurvedic doctor from Dahisar. The police said the girl disapproved of their relationship.
The woman, Smita Pednekar, and the doctor, Sanjay Kumar, met when Kumar was treating Pednekar’s son at her Dahisar home, according to the police. Later, Pednekar’s husband passed away and she moved to Malwani. However, she continued to pursue her relationship with Kumar.
Pednekar’s daughter, Vaibhavi, was averse to the relationship, the police said, so the duo hatched a plan to murder the girl.
“On January 27, Kumar and Pednekar hired a car and took Vaibhavi to Nashik. On their way back the next day, they stopped the car near Umbherwali village on National Highway 3, and asked the driver to walk ahead since they had to perform some rituals. They then went behind some bushes and tried to strangle the girl. Assuming that she was dead, they then returned to the car,” said assistant inspector Rajesh Gawli of Kasara police station.
They kept a pile of bags on the back seat of the car and covered it with a bedsheet to fool the driver into believing that Vaibhavi was sleeping on the back seat, according to the police.
“After travelling for about 15 minutes, they asked the driver to stop the car at a tea stall. When Kumar and Haroon returned from the stall, there was nobody in the car. Kumar told the driver that Pednekar and Vaibhavi would return to Mumbai on their own,” said Gawli.
Around 11.30 pm on January 28, a mobile police van patrolling the area found Vaibhavi lying in the bushes and rushed her to Shahpur hospital nearby.
“After she regained consciousness on January 29, Vaibhavi narrated the story to us. A case of attempt to murder was then registered against Kumar and Pednekar,” said Gawli.
The police said that Pednekar, who had taken voluntary retirement from a bank some time ago, was arrested from near her Malwani residence on January 31. She has admitted to her crime.
Vaibhavi was moved to JJ Hospital in Mumbai on January 31 when she contacted a family friend, Vinod Panchal, and sought his help. “Panchal was her father’s friend. He immediately moved the girl to a private hospital in Dahisar close to his home. She is in a stable condition now and Panchal and her friends are looking after her,” said Gawli.