Maharashtra Police said a doctor has been arrested from Wali, the favourite place of Bollywood directors for its picturesque beauty. The doctor, who was arrested on the charge of kidnapping and killing an aanganwadi worker has confessed to killing atleast six persons – five women and one man by inducing lethal overdoses of medicines.
According to Satara’s Wai Police Station Inspector Padmakar Ghanvat, Dr Santosh Pol, arrested on August 13, has revealed that he has killed six persons so far.
Pol’s alleged crimes came to light after police began to investigate the suspicious disappearance of President of the Maharashtra Purva Prathmik Shikshika Sevika Sangh (MPPSSS), 49-year-old Mangal Jedhe.
MPPSSS General Secretary Shaukat Pathan said, “She had left Wai for Pune to attend to her daughter’s delivery, but never reached there,” according to media reports.
Police said that prior to leaving for Pune, she was in touch with Pol, who is now being called as ‘Dr Death’. The investigation further revealed that both had a fight after which she threatened to reveal Pol’s alleged shady and criminal activities.
While Jedhe was waiting at the Wai bus depot, Pol and his associates, including nurse Jyoti Mandre, allegedly kidnapped her and took her to Pol’s farmhouse around 13 km from Wai. The following day, Pol and Mandre allegedly administered her overdose of a lethal medicine and killed her, according to reports. After burying the body at an isolated spot in the farmhouse, both Pol and Mandre went underground.
Due to Jedhe’s sudden disappearance, the MPPSSS demanded an investigation by the state CID, following which the Wai police traced Mandre who told the police about Pol’s whereabouts.
Pol was arrested from a place in Dadar on August 13 after which Pol was remanded in police custody for a week while Mandre was sent to four-day police custody. The police had also recovered the victim’s remains after Pol allegedly admitted to killing Jedhe and burying her at his farmhouse.
Pol claimed he was in a relationship with Jedhe and Mandre, but since Jedhe was jealous of his affair with Mandre and threatened to expose them (Pol and Mandre), they decided to eliminate her, according to police.
It was during interrogation in the police custody that Pol allegedly confessed that he had actually killed at least five women and one man in the past few years. He also told his interrogators that he has thrown the male victim’s body into a local water reservoir while the women were buried at his country home. All the victims were declared ‘missing’ by local authorities.
Police were making efforts to recover the other four bodies from Pol’s farmhouse, Ghanvat said.
Besides Jedhe, the missing victims were tentatively identified as Salma Shaikh, Jagabai Pol, Surekha Chikane, Vanita Gaikwad and Nathmal Bhandare, but the exact details will be known only after investigation, the police said.
Pathan said that since 2003, at least a dozen women have been reported missing from Wai and surrounding villages and demanded a police probe into all those cases.
Police said Pol’s crimes were driven by lust and robbery and he used his medical knowledge to eliminate his victims when they threatened to expose him.