20-year-old woman, boyfriend kill her husband in Panvel home; held
The Panvel city police on Tuesday arrested a 20-year-old woman and her 22-year-old boyfriend for allegedly murdering the former’s husband by slashing his throat. The victim, Hariom Singh Rathod, 30, was killed on Monday.
The police have booked Preeti Rathod and Gaurav Singh Gaud under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The duo have been remanded in police custody till July 27.
Rathod and Preeti got married in May this year and on Monday, they had shifted to Panvel from their home town in Uttar Pradesh. “Preeti was having an affair with Gaurav Singh Gaud, a native of Kanpur, for the past seven years,” said Vijay Taide, inspector from Panvel city police station. The police said Preeti had told Rathod that Gaud, who had shifted to Panvel earlier, could help Rathod find a job and a house.
“Rathod was taking a nap after having lunch. That was when Preeti and Gaud first tried to kill him by smothering with a pillow. Rathod, however, protected himself and raised an alarm. They then stabbed him in his neck and slashed his throat,” Taide said. The accused told neighbours and the police that Rathod had committed suicide by slitting his own throat.
The police took Rathod to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Rathod’s body has been sent for post-mortem.
“We spotted blood on the accuseds’ hands. There were also injury marks on some other parts of the victim’s body. So we realized that it was not suicide, but a murder. Based on circumstantial evidence, we arrested the accused in the early hours of Tuesday. They later confessed to committing the crime,” said Taide.
The police believe Preeti and Gaud have been in a relationship for years, but their families did not approve of their relationship because of differences in caste. “They had planned that Preeti would marry the man of her family’s choice and that they would later kill the husband and stay together,” said a police officer familiar with the case. “They had planned to kill him on the very first day in Panvel assuming that would help them evade arrest,” he said.
The police are investigating if the accused have an existing criminal record in their hometown.