Hours after a 14-year-old girl was hacked to death in Pune on Tuesday, the police arrested three persons, including the main suspect and two juveniles, officials said. While the police detained two minors late on Tuesday, the main suspect, 22-year-old Hrishikesh alias Shubham Bhagwat, was apprehended from Bibwewadi area where he was trying to hide, an official said on Wednesday.
Bhagwat, who was stalking the victim, and two of his accomplices allegedly hacked an 8th standard student with a sickle at a playground in Pune during Kabaddi practice on Tuesday. So brutal was the attack that the victim’s head was nearly decapitated.
“We have arrested the third suspect as well while the two juveniles in conflict with law were detained last night,” said Namrata Patil, deputy commissioner of police.
According to another official, they are also investigating the involvement of a fourth suspect in the case though he refused to divulge any more information.
Taking cognizance of the brutal killing, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar asked the police to make a tight case against the suspects to ensure the harshest punishment for a crime which he described as an “indication of the overall deterioration of social values.”
“The incident is extremely serious. I have asked the police to take all possible efforts and ensure that suspects are awarded the harshest punishment,”
Police officers said Bhagwat, who was a relative of the victim and was allegedly stalking her for months, reached the playground along with two other friends in the evening.
He then called the girl who was about to begin her Kabaddi practice with friends and took her aside. An argument ensued and Bhagwat pulled out a sickle from his bag and hacked her to death.
“The girl was at a playground where local groups hold Kabaddi practice and fitness classes for children. Three people, including a 22-year-old man, came on a bike and attacked the girl with a sharp weapon. The attack was so brutal that the girl died on the spot,” Patil said after the incident.
The other two, according to police, were also carrying sharp weapons and assaulted the girl.
Police said the attack unfolded in front of the victim’s friends and others who came for an evening stroll, all were shocked and left the place immediately.
Police detained the two alleged accomplices, both minors, but the main accused was on the run. Police also recovered from the spot a toy pistol, which was allegedly used to scare off the victim’s friends.
Police said Shubham was staying at the victim’s house with her family in the Bibwewadi area when he began stalking her.
“Shubham was stalking her for some time. After the victim’s parents learnt about it, they warned him to leave after which he went to stay at another area at Chinchwad,” said Sunil Zaware, senior police inspector, Bibwewadi police station.