Republished_Three accused held guilty in Nayna Pujari case

Omkar Joshi
Monday, 8 May 2017

Pune: After eight years wait, a special court on Monday held three accused guilty of kidnapping, gangrape and murder of software engineer Nayna Pujari case. The incident had raised a major concern over security of women working in Pune's IT sector.

Pujari (28) from Katraj, who worked with Synechron Technologies Pvt Ltd then located in Kharadi, was abducted while returning home from office on October 7, 2009. Her body was recovered from the Zarewadi forests in Khed taluka on October 9, 2009.

Pune: After eight years wait, a special court on Monday held three accused guilty of kidnapping, gangrape and murder of software engineer Nayna Pujari case. The incident had raised a major concern over security of women working in Pune's IT sector.

Pujari (28) from Katraj, who worked with Synechron Technologies Pvt Ltd then located in Kharadi, was abducted while returning home from office on October 7, 2009. Her body was recovered from the Zarewadi forests in Khed taluka on October 9, 2009.

The accused Yogesh Raut (31), Mahesh Thakur (31) from Khed taluka and Vishwas Kadam (33) of Dighigaon were convicted for kidnapping, gang rape, murder, robbery, attempt to destroy evidence etc. The fourth, Rajesh Chaudhary (30), has turned approver.

Special judge L Yenkar will announce quantum of punishment on Tuesday.

Convicts' profile

Raut had attached his car with the transport wing of the company where Pujari worked, and Thakur was the driver of his car. Kadam was working as a cab driver with another software firm in Vadgaon Sheri.

Approver's statement

On the day of the crime, he received a call from Raut, who told him in coded language that they had to go out. He went to Wagholi on his two-wheeler and followed them till Shankar Parvati Mangal Karyalaya where they raped her. Choudhari mentioned that from the ID, he came to know that her name was Nayana Pujari. After this, Raut threatened to kill Choudhari, if he revealed the woman’s identity to anyone. Choudhari added that on October 8, Raut called him saying that they had murdered the woman.

Abduction, gangrape and murder

On the evening of October 7, 2009, Nayna had informed her husband Abhijit Pujari that she had missed office cab and therefore she will reach home late. She walked few meters on the road and was standing at a bus stop on the Mundhwa Bypass road when Raut approached her and offered to drop her to Hadapsar. However once inside the car, the accused kidnapped her. She was sexually assaulted before she was killed, and that the murderers had stolen her ATM card as well as her password and withdrawn Rs 61,000 from her account. Her tormentors had strangulated her with her dupatta and her head was smashed with stones.

Her husband had lodged a missing complaint with Yerwada police station, as Kharadi was then under its jurisdiction. On October 9 her body was recovered from the Zarewadi forests, about 50 km from Pune, near Rajgurunagar. Khed police had registered murder case against unknown persons and later the case was transferred to Yerwada police station.

Main accused escape

While the trial was going, main accused Raut escaped from Sassoon hospital on September 17, 2011. He was brought there from the Yerawada jail after he complained of itching and stomach ache. Later he was arrested in Shirdi on May 31, 2013, based on tip-off received by police head constables Santosh Jagtap and Pradip Surve.

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