BELAGAVI: Only one of the five accused in the Sheetal Chougule rape and murder case received summons issued by the Supreme Court. The summons issued to others were returned with the remark, “not available at the address”.
Sheetal’s mother Kanchana, who had filed a complaint, had been directed by the court to give the new residential addresses of the five accused. Kanchana in turn asked the Kakati and Camp police to trace their new residential addresses. The accused - Sheetal’s husband Ravindra Chougale, his girlfriend Reena Tahasildar, Rajesh Menase, Ranjeet Shintre, Parushram Kamble and Vijayanand alias Dinku Shinde - were issued summons. However, except for Vijayanand, the others “did not receive the summons”.
Sheetal Chougale had been allegedly gang-raped and strangulated to death at Rajdeep bungalow, which was rented by the gang on August 12, 2007.
Her body was wrapped in a bedsheet, taken to Khanapur taluk and thrown into a canal. The district court awarded life imprisonment to the gang in 2012. However, Sheetal’s family was unhappy with the verdict and approached the High Court. The case suffered a setback as the accused were acquitted, after which her family approached the Supreme Court. The state government also filed a separate complaint against the accused in the Supreme Court.
Ravindra Chougule was said to have had an illicit affair with Reena Tahasildar. He had allegedly given supari to get his wife killed.Meanwhile, notorious gangster Praveen Shintre, the brother of Ranjeet Shintre, was at large after the rape and murder of Sheetal. He was found at a lodge in Dakshina Kannada district with a woman and brought back to Belagavi. He was shot dead when he “attempted to fire at the police” at the Rajdeep bungalow at Defence Colony, where Sheetal was gang-raped and murdered.