Thane man arrested for strangling wife to death, setting body on fire to remove evidence

THE THANE police on Friday arrested a 26-year-old man for allegedly strangling his 25-year-old wife to death and later burning her body inside their house at Ulhasnagar.

Police said that the accused poured kerosene on the body and set it ablaze to mislead the investigators. The arrested accused has been identified as Suraj Anand Kharat, who stayed with his wife, Sushila Sahebrao Nikalje, at Gaikwadpada in Ulhasnagar.

Police said that Kharat suspected his wife of having an illicit relationship due to which they often fought. In mid-August, Kharat during one such fight strangled her to death using a shoelace.

“It happened in a moment and by the time he realised, the woman was dead. So, he thought that he would mislead the police by burning her remains as it will create difficulty in identifying and he also thought that the police may think that she has committed suicide,” said an officer.

Nikalje’s body was found on August 22, when the neighbours complained of a foul smell coming from the house. Shivaji Nagar police station was informed and a team went to the spot.

“Her body was sent to JJ hospital for post-mortem and the doctors said that she was choked to death before her body was set on fire. Following this a case of murder and destruction of evidence was registered at Shivaji Nagar police station,” said Inspector Mahesh Tarde.

Police then inquired about her in the neighbourhood but nobody knew them as they had recently shifted there. “We later managed to locate a woman, who disclosed their identities to us and also gave us Kharat’s phone number,” said an officer.

Kharat was working as a waiter with a caterer. Subsequently, the police found out that he was going to come near Kamgarnagar in Badlapur. “We laid a trap and arrested him. He confessed to the crime,” said an officer. The accused was arrested on Saturday.

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