Maharashtra’s ‘Dr Death’ – five bodies unearthed
Police on Tuesday said they had found bodies of five of the six people murdered in cold blood by self-confessed medico Santosh Gulabrao Pol in a case that has stunned Maharashtra.
Solapur Range Inspector General of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil and Satara Superintendent of Police Sandip Patil said that following the shocking revelations by Pol, police dug his poultry farmhouse premises and discovered the remains of the five bodies.
Charged with kidnapping and murdering an ‘aanganwadi worker’ Mangal Jedhe, 49, on June 16, Pol admitted to committing a total of six murders, including that of a man, after administering them lethal overdose of some medicines, earning him the sobriquet ‘Dr. Death’.
The 41-year-old Pol’s associate, nurse Jyoti Pandurang Mandre, 25, has also been arrested. Both have been sent to police custody by a court.
Pol was also functioning as a police informer on corruption cases against government officials and flaunted his ‘links’ with top police officials whenever anyone tried to enquire about his activities, said Nangre-Patil.
Nangre-Patil added that a probe would be conducted why the local police were scared of taking action against the accused pair if they did have information about suspicious happenings at the farmhouse.
SP Patil said they were attempting to trace the body of a woman, Vanita Gaikwad, whose body was thrown into a water reservoir of Krishna river.
Senior Inspector of Wai Police Crime Branch Padmakar Ghanvat revealed that soon after Jedhe’s disappearance, Pol lodged a police complaint on June 24 accusing her of fleeing with 200 gms of gold on the pretext of doubling them in a ponzi scheme.
In his latest revelations under custodial interrogation, Pol has claimed that he had conspired to kill Jedhe almost three months ago and even kept a dug-up grave ready for her.
He was also planning to eliminate his associate Jyoti Mandre and he had planted an almond tree on one of his victim’s grave.
He has confessed to killing Surekha Kisan Chikane on May 20, 2003, Vanita Narhari Gaikwad on August 12, 2006, Jagabai Laxman Pol on August 13, 2010, Nathmal Dhanaji Bhandari on December 7, 2015 and an orphan Salma Shaikh on January 17, 2016, said Ghanvat.
A majority of the victims either worked with him or came in contact as patients, and their remains have been sent for forensic and DNA tests, Ghanvat added.
“We shall investigate all the missing persons’ cases in and around Wai since 2003, the hospitals where he worked, question other patients and employees, tackle all possible angles,” Patil said.
Nangre-Patil assured that nothing was being ruled out, including the possibility of more murders of missing persons in the region that may have been committed by the accused.
Pol, described as an ‘Electro-Homoeopath’, practiced in some local hospitals and at his farmhouse, 13 km on the outskirts of the quaint Wai town, at the base of the twin hill stations of Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani, around 175 km south of Mumbai.
The medico’s alleged crimes came to light after police began to probe the suspicious disappearance of Jedhe, President of the Maharashtra Purva Prathmik Shikshika Sevika Sangh (MPPSSS), on June 16.
“She had left Wai for Pune on June 15 evening to attend to her pregnant daughter’s delivery but never reached there,” said MPPSSS general secretary Shaukat Pathan.
Ghanvat said investigations revealed that prior to leaving for Pune, she was in touch with Pol and both had a bitter fight when she threatened to reveal his activities, and later her husband Bhikhu R. Jedhe had pointed a finger of suspicion at the medico.
As the horrifying details of the case tumbled out since Monday, hundreds of curious onlookers from Wai and surroundings came to view Pol’s home and farmhouse.