Police have arrested a 25-year-old autorickshaw driver for allegedly killing a man and raping his girlfriend near a village here last week. The interrogation of Siddharth Naravade (25) revealed he was also involved in an attack on a couple in the same area last year, a police official said. Addressing a news conference at the Thane District Rural Police HQ, Superintendent of Police Mahesh Patil said with the arrest of Naravade on Sunday, they have cracked the March 5 murder and rape case and also recovered the weapon used in the crime.
Naravade originally hailed from Abad in Jalna district and had been staying in a lodge in Ulhasnagar township for the last seven months, he said. He was driving an autorickshaw owned by someone else for a living, Patil said. Naravade allegedly shot dead a 20-year-old man, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, when he resisted his robbery attempt.
The couple was on a motorcycle, he said. The accused demanded the money he was carrying and also the key of his motorbike. When the man protested the robbery bid, he fired four rounds at him from point-blank range, killing him on the spot, the police officer said. Naravade then dragged the deceased’s girlfriend (30) to nearby bushes and raped her. The incident took place near village Nalimbi, he said. After filing a case of murder and rape based on a complaint lodged by the woman, police officials swung into action and raided the lodge where the accused had been staying, the officer said.
They recovered a German-made revolver and three live cartridges from his room, he said. Prashant Kadam, Additional Superintendent of Police (Thane Rural), who was also present at the conference, said Naravade was involved in a robbery and firing case which took place in July 2017 in Ambernath. He had then robbed a couple at an isolated spot and also fired at them, injuring the man, Kadam said. The Thane Police commissioner has announced a cash reward of Rs 50,000 for the team that arrested Naravade, an official said.