PUNE: The Hadapsar police on Saturday arrested a 37-year-old woman and a transgender for allegedly strangling Manisha Ravlekar (27) at her residence in Hadapsar on February 21. The duo also tried to hide their crime by staging her ‘suicide’. They took gold ornaments worth Rs 2.5 lakh from Ravlekar.
The suspects are Lalita Bapu Kasbe (37) and Laxmi alias Gautam Kartik Kamble (28), both from Manjari. The Hadapsar police team led by senior inspector Rajendra Mohite made the arrests.
Ravlekar (27) of Tejas Apartments, Kamdhenu Estates in Hadapsar was found dead at her residence on February 22. “Her body was found on the bed in her flat with a rope around her neck. Initial investigation suggested that Manisha may have ended her life by hanging herself from the ceiling. The post-mortem report too stated that the cause of death was asphyxia,” said Manoj Patil, deputy commissioner of police (zone-IV) at a press conference on Sunday.
However, police grew suspicious when the woman’s husband told them that gold ornaments worth Rs 2.5 lakh was missing from the flat.
Mohite said police procured CCTV camera footage from the shops near the woman’s residence.
“After checking the call details of the woman’s cellphone, we found that she had called Kasbe frequently on February 21,” he said. Kasbe, when interrogated, admitted that she knew Ravlekar.
Another senior officer from the Hadapsar police station said the footage showed two women arriving near Ravlekar’s building on a scooter. “Though the footage was not clear, we could make out that one of them was a transgender,” the officer added.
When the footage was show to other transgenders, the person was identified as Laxmi alias Gautam, the officer said. During sustained interrogation, Laxmi and Kasbe admitted to their involvement in the murder.