Man bludgeons five, including two kids, to death over family dispute

Nagpur: A former murder accused went berserk at the Aradhana Nagar home of his brother-in-law killing five persons including his own four year old son. Suspect Vivek Palatkar’s killing spree also left his brother-in-law Kamlakar Pawankar (53), Kamlakar’s wife Archana (45), their daughters Vedanti (15), Kamlakar’s mother Meerabai (70) dead. He apparently bludgeoned them to death using a crowbar. Police believe property related issues to be the motive.
The only survivors of this shocking saga, suspect’s elder daughter Vaishnavi Palatkar and Mitali Pawankar, both aged seven years old, brought the crime to fore on Monday morning alerting their neighbours. It led to a huge crowd outside the residence of Kamlakar, who was also a BJP worker.

Kumeriya family, which stays at the opposite apartment, was shocked after Mitali with blood smeared on her face walked into their home with Vaishnavi to alert them about ‘somebody having killed our family members’. Traumatized but holding onto their nerves, the cousins led the neighbours home by climbing over the locked gate to show them the bodies lying in the rooms that had blood splattered on walls. They had like slept among the corpses for a some hours before waking up to the carnage.

City police have sent several teams to nab suspect Palatkar. He had allegedly killed his wife Savita and burnt her corpse to destroy evidence in May 2014. His bike was found parked outside the two-bedroom apartment of the deceased that gave the cops their first clue to the murders. A neighbour had also spotted Palatkar near the home of Pawankars, who also owned two adjacent shops, at about 10.30 pm the previous night.

After being convicted by the sessions court in wife’s murder, Palatkar was acquitted by the high court around a year ago. Kamlakar, whom Palatkar killed on Sunday night, had actually helped him with the case and also tried to rehabilitate him after release from jail.

Palatkar may have killed his own son Ganesh, alias Krushna, by mistake as he resembled Mitali. Krushna was sleeping between Kamlakar and Archana. It may have confused Palatkar as he had carried out the assault in the dark.

Palatkar had quit as security guard at a private hotel in Sitabuldi recently and wanted to begin farming at his native place at Nuwargaon near Airoli in Nagpur rural. Police sources also he had approached a former fellow jail inmate requesting him for a few lakh rupees offering to mortgage his ancestral land at Airoli but could not get the loan. The former jail inmate also told police that Palatkar was disturbed over something and refrained from taking bath during his time in jail. He was also dabbling in black magic, it is learnt. Cops are also looking for a person who would supply some traditional herbal medicines to him.

Family sources claimed Palatkar had a strong objection to Kamlakar transferring one of the property in the name of his wife Archana. Kamlakar is learnt to have spent a couple of lakh rupees to enable Palatkar fight case in high court. Sources also said Palatkar’s another sister had taken away substantial property from him earlier. Kamlakar had helped Palatkar get a job and helped him rent a house on Amravati road.

Forensic experts confirmed the use of ‘hard and blunt’ object to bludgeon the victims. Police also found a crowbar in the bush near the house but it is yet to establish that as a weapon of murders.

The bedroom of Pawankar family presented a horrendous sight with bodies of the Kamlakar and Archana lying with deep gash on their heads. Young Krushna’s body was lying between the couple while Vedanti’s body was towards their feet. All had similar deep injuries on the head. Zonal DCP Nilesh Bharne said Nandanvan police have registered an offence naming Palatkar as prime suspect.

Photographs of Palatkar have been distributed at different places. Police are also keeping watch at railway stations and bus stops, and scanning CCTV footages and other places. A team is also likely to leave for Katra and Vaishno Devi where Palatkar had travelled to after murdering his wife.

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