Maharashtra: 13 people held for abetting suicide of 9 members of family in Sangli, hunt on for 12 more who harassed deceased

The two brothers - one of them a teacher and the other a veterinarian - and seven of their other family members were found dead on Monday at two separate homes of the siblings in Mhaisal village of Sangli district.

Gautam S. MengleUpdated: Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 11:39 PM IST
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A day after nine members of a single family were found dead in their residences in Sangli, the police have arrested 13 accused for allegedly harassing the deceased to the point of committing suicide, while 12 others are still wanted. Apart from abetment to suicide under the Indian Penal Code, the police have also invoked the Atrocities Act and the Maharashtra Money-Lending (Regulation) Act in the case.

The deceased, which include a 70-year-old woman, her two sons and their wives and children, all of them from the Vhanmore family, were found dead in their two houses in the Mhaisal village in Miraj, Sangli on Monday afternoon. Based on a suicide note found in the house, the Miraj Rural police had registered an FIR on Monday night and launched a manhunt for the 25 accused named in the suicide note.

By Tuesday morning, the police had traced and arrested 13 of the accused, while multiple police teams are currently on the trail of the rest of the accused.

"Inquiries conducted so far indicate that the deceased had borrowed money on interest from the accused, and the accused were continuously harassing them over these loans. The harassment included repeatedly using abusive language with the deceased, threatening to kill them and even stopping them in the middle of the street to humiliate them," said police inspector Ajay Sindkar, Local Crime Branch, Sangli police.

Sindkar added that at this moment, seven police teams are conducting investigations in Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur and Karnataka so that the rest of the accused can be arrested as soon as possible.

"We have recovered some important documents from the residences of the deceased, which we are examining. Meanwhile, we have deployed heavy bandobast all over the village in order to ensure that no law and order situations arise," said Sindkar.

The arrested accused have been identified as Nandakumar Pawar, Rajendra Banne, Anil Banne, Khanderao Shinde, Tatyaso Chaugule, Shailesh Dhumal, Prakash Pawar, Sanjay Bagdi, Anil Borade, Pandurang Ghorpade, Shivaji Kore and Rekha Chougule. All of the accused are engaged in various professions in Mhaisal. While some are farmers, others run commercial enterprises, one is a doctor and one is a teacher. The accused had lent money at high interest rates to the deceased despite having no valid license for the same, which is an offence under the Maharashtra Money-Lenders (Regulations) Act, said officers.

The police are still trying to ascertain the exact amount that the deceased had borrowed and what interest they had incurred on it. Inquiries are also underway to find out whether the accused had lent money to and then similarly harassed any other residents of Mhaisal or nearby villages, officers said.

Meanwhile, the post mortem reports of the nine deceased were received on Tuesday. However, the doctors have reserved their opinion on the cause of death pending viscera analysis.

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