THANE: The city police has arrested a 40-year-old woman and her accomplice for allegedly killing her husband following a feud over a property worth nearly Rs 15 crore, an official said today.
The victim, Shankar Gaikwad (44), a resident of the Kalyan township here, had gone missing on May 18 and the killing came to light after his body was recovered on June 1.
His wife, Asha Gaikwad, allegedly plotted the killing with the help of her accomplice, identified as Himanshu Dubey.
Both were arrested and a search was on for four other persons, who were also allegedly involved in the crime, the police official said.
The police suspect that the root of the chilling incident lies in the properties owned by the victim.
Shankar Gaikwad had apparently transferred most of his properties in his wife's name, the official said.
The police suspect that the woman had sold most of the assets and eyed another property worth Rs 15 crore, which her husband was not ready to part with as it belonged to his father.
Following the dispute, the woman allegedly roped-in Dubey and paid him Rs 4 lakh advance, out of the total promised Rs 30 lakh, to get rid of her husband, the police said based on a complaint filed by the victim's brother.
On May 18, she took her husband to the Badlapur town in an autorickshaw and gave him a sedative-laced drink.
After he fell unconscious, the woman and the other accused allegedly hit him with iron rods and stabbed him to death with a sharp weapon, the police official said.
The accused then dumped the body at an isolated place, he said.
On May 21, the woman herself lodged a police complaint about her husband going missing.
Later, the victim's family members raised suspicion that his wife might have killed him over a property row and approached the police for a proper probe into the matter and to find Shankar Gaikwad.
The police then scanned the woman's call records and after joining the dots managed to crack the case and also recovered the body from Neral near Karjat on June 1.
However, during questioning, the woman gave a different version saying the killing was an outcome of the fights between them over her frequent phone chats, the police official said.
Apart from the two arrested accused, four others were also booked for their alleged involvement in the crime and a search was on for them, Kolshewadi police inspector K K Gavit said.
Offences were registered against the accused under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), he said.
The couple has two daughters and as many sons, the police added.