Mumbai : Marathi actress Alka Punewar, who ‘mysteriously disappeared’ on December 27 while she was on her way to Uran for a stage show, has been traced in Chennai. Initial reports seem to suggest that she wanted to elope with her paramour and had scripted the “missing” drama.
It is learnt that Alka, her paramour and a mutual friend had bought a second hand car from OLX website for Rs 28,000 three days before her ‘disappearance.’ On the night of December 27, after attending a party, they tried to mislead the cops by staging an ‘accident’ in Khopoli, so that Alka could elope. (Readers will recall that Alka’s car was found in a ravine.)
The case was cracked after the Crime Branch (Property Cell) traced the whereabouts of Sanjay Sonkar, the mutual friend of Alka and her paramour Alok Paliwal. Sonkar, who works as a tower maintenance engineer, was picked up from his Panvel residence. During questioning, he admitted to misleading the cops, and narrated the sequence of events between the night of December 27 and the next morning.
Incidentally, in the last few months many calls were exchanged between three numbers — that of Alka, Sonkar and an unknown number, the police said.
“The day Alka was reported ‘missing’ the three numbers were found to be in a similar location on more than three occasions,” said an investigating officer.
Sonkar’s interrogation revealed that the caller on the unknown number was none other than Alka’s lover Paliwal; the phone number was registered in the latter’s friend’s name.
Sonkar also revealed that he had pushed the second-hand car into the ravine along with Alka’s ‘missing’ phone. The last SMS from the phone was to Alka’s husband Sanjay. This was to reinforce the impression that Alka was last seen in Khopoli before she went ‘missing.’
After successfully disposing of the car, Sonkar returned to his residence in Panvel while Alka took a train to Pune and met Paliwal who had reached there separately in a bus. From there, the duo first went to Bangalore in a train and then to Chennai.
On Tuesday evening, Sonkar was handed over to the Kopri police in Thane. A separate team of police officials has left for Chennai to take Alka and Paliwal into custody.