Cops probing two possible motives

'Accused was bullied; may have been physically, sexually abused'

Tilak Nagar Police are probing two probable causes that led 21-year-old Pradeep Sonavade to kill his colleagues in cold blood. The first is that he was harassed — both physically and sexually — by the victims. The second reason, police said, could be that one of the victims, Raja Dakholia, was hitting on Sonavade's girlfriend, who worked at the same bar in Vidyavihar.

Sonavade told the police that he was extremely frustrated due to persisten humiliation from the three colleagues. Police said the trio also bullied and ragged Sonavade. Even the bar owner used to taunt him, they added.

The accused also told the police that he was earning a meagre Rs 1,500 a month and there was no support system at the bar.

Police said Sonavade, who lived in Thane, slept at the bar after it shut every night and boarded the first train to Thane every morning. Sonavade knew that Dakholia, too, took the first train to Kalyan. Dakholia slept in the garage where watchmen and sweeper did.

On Friday, Sonavade took a day's leave and went to Chor Bazaar, where he picked up a knife. He returned to the bar in the afternoon and hid the knife next to a counter in the kitchen.

At 2 am on Saturday, when Dakholia went to sleep, Sonavade switched off the CCTV. He took a bamboo stick and waited for watchman Bhaskar Dalvi, sweeper Vasant Mudira and Dakholia to fall asleep.

Sonavade first hit Dalvi on his head with the stick. After he fell unconscious, Sonavade hit Dakholia and Mudira, knocking them unconscious. Sonavade stabbed Dakholia more than 10 times. He later stabbed Dalvi and Mudira so that he could not be identified.

Throwing the bamboo in the adjacent vacant plot, Sonavade left for the railway station to go to Charni Road.

... contd.

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