Man gets 10-year RI for attacking woman he mistook for his wife

A sessions court Monday sentenced a 35-year-old man to 10-year rigorous imprisonment for brutally assaulting a 25-year-old (CA student, in December 2012, mistaking the victim for his estranged wife.

Vijay Sangelkar was convicted under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code for attempt to murder. On December 16 last year, Sangelkar assaulted Sonal Lapashiya outside Swaminarayan temple at Dadar with a sickle.

According to the prosecution, Sangelkar and his wife had separated for a few days before the incident. His wife, who worked at a private firm in Sion, had left for her maternal house following alleged domestic violence. She claimed that Sangelkar had an extramarital affair, and she was subjected to physical and verbal assault. She accused Sangelkar's family of harassing her for dowry. "I decided to go back to my parents. My son accompanied me," she told the court.

According to the prosecution, on December 15, 2012, Sangelkar called his wife and told her he wished to resolve the issue, and asked her to meet him at Nalasopara station the following day at 11 am. "The wife met him and a fight ensued between the two. His wife suggested that they should go to Dadar and talk," said public prosecutor Shankar Erande.

While Sangelkar and his wife boarded the train for Dadar, the latter got off at Vasai with their four-year-old son. "On reaching Dadar, he (Sangelkar) tried contacting me a few times, but I answered one call and told him I was not in a condition to speak," the wife deposed.

Sangelkar assumed that she got off at Dadar and started looking for her near Dadar station. He saw Lapashiya, wearing clothes similar to his wife's — at a bus stop outside the temple. According to Sanjay Rane, the complainant and beat constable from Matunga police, Sangelkar rushed towards Lapashiya and attacked her.

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