Driver arrested for murdering Oshiwara housewife

Police have arrested a driver for the murder of 40-year-old housewife Sushma Darekar in her Oshiwara home Wednesday night.

Pravin Kagze was arrested after he confessed in detention killing Sushma, whose missing mangalsutra and bangles were found in his residence.

Kagze told police his cousin Nilesh was also involved.

"Nilesh, who is in possession of the remaining gold ornaments, has fled to Ratnagiri. We have sent a team to arrest him," said D Rupwate, senior police inspector.

Police were suspecting involvement of someone close to the woman as there was also an attempt to set the house on fire soon after the murder.

Sushma had been staying with husband Sunil (42) in a fifth-floor apartment at Greenpark Building in Patliputra Colony. The locality close to Bollywood studios is inhabited by struggling actors, writers and directors belonging to different states.

Police said a neigbour called at 10 pm Wednesday to say smoke was coming out of the flat. On reaching there, the fire personnel found Sushma lying in a passageway between the kitchen and bedroom.

Since fire officers had begun dousing the blaze, the flat was flooded with water. Police found strangulation marks on her neck and rushed Sushma to hospital.

An Oshiwara police officer said her jewellery and valuables worth Rs 9 lakh were missing.

"I saw smoke coming out of the flat. Since I was chief of fire department in Jamnagar, I helped the fire brigade break open the door. A stack of newspapers and other things had been set on fire. The blaze was doused within minutes. Someone had tried to burn things to make it appear the woman had died of fire," said neighbour Ghanshyam Vaja.

Sushma was the second wife of Sunil, owner of a hoarding ads company that takes contract for billboards along Mumbai-Pune Expressway. His first wife and two kids stay in Vakola.

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