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Two booked for murder of inmate at rehab centre in Titwala

By Anamika Gharat, Thane
PUBLISHED ON NOV 30, 2019 12:33 AM IST

Two women inmates at a drug rehabilitation centre in Titwala were booked for murdering a fellow inmate and staging the death to be a suicide. On Thursday, Titwala police booked Vishakha Kotave and Esha Pande, both 21, for the murder of Kishori Sawant, 34.

On November 25, Sawant was found in her room at a rehabilitation centre in Titwala, apparently having committed suicide by hanging herself.

Sawant had been suffering from drug addiction and receiving treatment at the centre since May this year. Pande had also been admitted to the rehabilitation centre in May while Kotave was admitted in June, also for drug addiction.

When Titwala police was informed of Sawant’s alleged suicide, they handed Sawant’s body over to Kalyan Government Hospital for a post-mortem. Sawant’s family was not convinced that she’d committed suicide and the police also suspected foul play because of the marks on the victim’s body.

Assistant police inspector Pradip Aarote said, “The way she had red marks on her neck and hands, I suspected murder, but we needed some proof. The post mortem report also claimed that it was murder and not suicide.”

The post-mortem report found traces of poison in Sawant’s body and also said the visited marks suggested strangulation.

The police then began to question employees and inmates at the centre.

Balaji Pandhare, senior police inspector, Titwala police station, said, “During interrogation, two fellow inmates Kotave and Pande confessed to the crime.”

According to the police, Kotave and Pande confessed they had first poisoned Sawant by mixing chemicals in her lunch, and then strangled her. Finally, to make her death look like a suicide, the duo had hanged her body from the fan in her room.

“We have booked both the girls under section 302 [murder] of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and are investigating the reason for the murder,” said Pandhare.

The police are investigating how Kotave and Pande accessed the poison and their motive for murder.

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