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Maharashtra: Cops suspect more than one person involved in murder of 2 students at Lonavla

Victim’s parents say that their son and friend were killed by hardened criminals.

mumbai Updated: Apr 06, 2017 12:11 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times
INS Shivaji,engineering students' murder,Lonavala double murder
(Left) Sarthak Wakchoure and Shruti Dumbre, who were found murdered at Lonavla. (HT)

For Sarthak Wakchoure and Shruti Dumbre, last Friday was special as they celebrated traditional day in their college at Lonavla. Being final-year students, it was their last traditional day on campus as they were to leave in two months.

But three days later, Sarthak, 22, and Shruti – one year his junior – were found dead on a hill near INS Shivaji in Lonavla. Their hands were tied behind their back before they were bludgeoned to death with a blunt object. They were found naked, police said. The police officers said injury marks were found on the girl’s body although the preliminary post-mortem report indicated no sexual assault.

Sarthak’s parents alleged that their son and friend was killed by hardened criminals. The police, however, said they are working on some leads and hope to crack the case soon. “We suspect more than one person was involved in killing Sarthak and Shruti. We have got some leads based on which we are sure to crack the case,” said Pune superintendent of police Huvez Haque.

Sarthak, a native of Rahuri in Ahmednagar district, was aspiring to serve the country by joining the Army. “Sarthak always wanted to join Indian Army and had recently appeared for an exam. At the core of his heart though, he was an artiste, who made two documentary films,” said his friend Shubham Pandit.

Shruti was the most educated person in her family and was to soon be an employee of IT giant, Accenture, in Pune.

“She was quite enthusiastic about the job she had secured through the campus interview. It was almost like a dream coming true for her,” said her uncle Santosh Naikwadi. Shruti’s friend said that she, a student of computer engineering, had made various plans for her first day into the job.

“She was to join Accenture IT firm after her exam. She was really happy about being selected for Accenture and had planned so many things,” said her friend, who was also to join with her at the same firm.

According to Shruti’s friend, Sarthak and she had planned the outing. Shruti, a native of Otur in Pune district, who used to stay at the hostel on campus , had told her friends that she is going out with friend and will return late. “We waited till late before finally informing college authorities when Shruti did not return to hostel,” said her friend, requesting anonymity.

Friends of Sarthak and Shruti said, they never expected that they will get to hear the news of their friends’ murder. “We never thought life will end so abruptly for Sarthak and Shruti,” said Sarthak’s class mate. His father said Sarthak was to soon come home after completing his college days. “I was hoping that he will soon step into my shoes and help me. Destiny had a different thing for him,” said Dilip Wakchoure.

While speaking to Hindustan Times on Tuesday, inspector general Vishwas Nagre Patil had ruled out the possibility of sexual assault or a caste angle behind the murder. “We are working on different angles, but the main focus is robbery,” said Nagre Patil.

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Maharashtra: Engineering students stripped, bludgeoned to death in Lonavala

First Published: Apr 06, 2017 11:43 IST