Porbandar, Aug 19 (PTI) A forest guard was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly killing a woman associate, her husband and a casual labourer who worked with the forest department in Gujarat's Porbandar district, police said.
Bodies of beat guard Hetalben Solanki (30), who was pregnant, her husband Kirtibhai Solanki and daily wage labourer Nagabhai Agath were found in Barda wildlife sanctuary in Porbandar district on Monday, two days after they went missing.
The accused, Lakhman Odedara (32), was arrested after preliminary investigation revealed that he accompanied the victims deep into the forest area on August 15, Porbandar Superintendent of Police Ravi Mohan Saini told reporters.
The accused confessed that he killed the three persons there, the official said.
'Preliminary investigation revealed that Odedara knew Hetalben for last three years ever since she was posted in the beat and wanted to have a relationship with her,' he said.
After Odedara's wife learnt about this two years ago, both of them used to have fights over the issue. They again fought over it around 20 days back, and Odedara's wife told him that Hetalben threatened her.
'Odedara then hatched a plan to kill Hetalben and her husband and roped in Agath to inform her about some illegal activities going on in the forest area,' Saini said.
To check the illegal activities, all the four went into the forest, where Odedara allegedly killed the three persons at different places by hitting on their heads with a wooden stick, the police said in a statement.
Further investigation was underway, and more evidence was being collected, they said.
'No other person has been found to be involved in the murders so far, but we are investigating the case from other angles as well,' Saini said.
After the three persons went missing, more than 100 district police personnel launched a massive search operation in the area on August 16, using technical surveillance, sniffer dogs, and drone cameras, the police release said.
On Monday morning, the bodies with injury marks on heads were found at different places within the sanctuary area, it said.
As per the FIR lodged at Bagvadar police station, Hetalben's father raised suspicion over Odedara, who worked with her since 2017, and based on it the accused was questioned and subsequently arrested, the police said. PTI COR KA PD GK GK