Mumbai: Man changed name, fled to Goa after wife, minor daughter’s murder, held

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Last week, investigators received a tip-off that Nagargoje had changed his name to Shelpal Yadav and was working as a waiter in Panjim in Goa. A police team was then sent and the accused was nabbed on Wednesday. (Representational Image)

A 38-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly murdering his wife and their six-year-old daughter in June 2016, police said. The accused Shrimanth Nagargoje, police said, had escaped after strangling the two to death. He reportedly had changed his identity and was hiding in Goa, police added.

Nagargoje, a truck driver, mostly stayed at JNPT in Navi Mumbai where he worked, while his wife Sushma and daughter stayed at a rented apartment at Jejuri. The couple, police said, fought often.

On June 12, 2016, Nagargoje offered to drop Sushma at their uncle’s house in Pune after a spat. “On the way, the two fought again and in a fit of rage the accused strangled Sushma to death,” a police officer said. Scared that their daughter might raise an alarm, Nagargoje also strangled her and then dumped the two bodies on the highway to mislead police.

On June 13, 2016, Panvel city police found Sushma’s body and registered a hit-and-run case. Their daughter’s body was found the next day by Uran police. “As their bodies were unidentified for days, we started circulating their pictures across Maharashtra,” an officer said.

On June 22, Sushma’s mother finally lodged a missing complaint with Jejuri police. Six days later, Navi Mumbai police were informed about the missing complaint, following which her mother was brought to Panvel and the two bodies identified. Navi Mumbai police then registered a case of murder and destruction of evidence.

“As Nagargoje had been missing since the day the two bodies had been recovered, he was a prime suspect in the case. He had switched off his phone and stopped contacting his relatives, due to which it was difficult to locate him for days,” said an officer.

Last week, investigators received a tip-off that Nagargoje had changed his name to Shelpal Yadav and was working as a waiter in Panjim in Goa. A police team was then sent and the accused was nabbed on Wednesday.

Nagargoje has been booked under relevant sections of murder and destruction of evidence. He was produced before a local court that sent him to police custody.