A26-year-old man allegedly strangled his 25-year-old wife and subsequently burnt her body at their home in Ulhasnagar in Thane district of Maharashtra. The Thane police arrested him on Friday.
According to the police, the accused poured kerosene on his wife’s body and burnt it in order to eliminate evidence and mislead the investigation.
The victim of the crime has been identified as Sushila Sahebrao Nikalje. She was married to Suraj Anand Kharat, who worked as a waiter with a caterer.
As per the police, accused Suraj Anand Kharat suspected that his wife was having an affair and this led to several fights between the two. During one such fight in mid-August, Kharat strangled his wife to death using a shoelace.
“It happened in a moment and by the time he realised, the woman was dead. So, he thought he would mislead the police by burning her remains as it would create difficulties in identifying the body. He also thought that the police may think she committed suicide,” a police officer was quoted in a report in The Indian Express.
Sushila Sahebrao Nikalje’s body was found on August 22 after the couple’s neighbours alerted the police that a foul smell was coming from their home. A team from Shivaji Nagar police station arrived at the spot.
“Her body was sent to JJ hospital for post-mortem and the doctors said that she was choked to death before her body was set on fire. Following this, a case of murder and destruction of evidence was registered at Shivaji Nagar police station,” Inspector Mahesh Tarde was quoted by The Indian Express.
When the police inquired about the couple in their neighbourhood in order to identify the victim, nobody knew much about them as they had moved there only recently. Finally, the police found a woman who disclosed their identities and shared Suraj Anand Kharat’s phone number.
The police learnt that he was heading to Kamgarnagar in Badlapur and laid a trap to catch him. He was arrested and reportedly confessed to his crime.