UDUPI: Praveen Arun Chougule (39), a cabin crew member with an airline, was arrested by Udupi police on Tuesday in connection with the brutal murders of a woman and her three children in Udupi.
The arrested confessed to the crime, Udupi SP Dr Arun K told reporters here on Wednesday. Now, the police are diligently exploring the dynamics of the relationship, including any entanglement or animosity, between Chougule and the deceased air hostess, Aynaz, the SP said.
Chougule was arrested through a joint operation by Udupi and Belagavi police in Kudachi, Belagavi, on Tuesday. The SP added that Chougule had admitted to targeting his colleague, Aynaz, on November 12. However, due to the intervention of Aynaz’s mother Haseena (47), elder sister Afnan (23), and brother Aseem (12), who rushed to her aid during the assault, he killed them mercilessly.
The stated motive for killing the other family members was to eliminate witnesses and evidence against him. Aynaz’s grandmother, Hajira, also suffered stab wounds but survived. The police anticipate further revelations about the motive of the crime as the investigation progresses.
The SP said that multiple motives are being considered behind this brutal murder. He confirmed that Chougule used a knife to kill the four persons and emphasised that the act was pre-planned, as per the suspect’s confession to the crime. Praveen Chougule, originally from Sangli in Maharashtra, was employed as a cabin crew member in Mangaluru. The police were able to crack the case when they started questioning victim Aynaz’s colleagues and the accused was missing at that time.
Sources from the airline said that Chougule worked on the Dammam flight on Friday and has an experience of more than 10 years. The accused has been remanded for 13 days of police custody by a Udupi court and a government advocate has been appointed since he did not appoint anyone to represent him.