Son-in-law arrested for plotting Thane woman’s murder

65-year-old bludgeoned to death; suspect tells cops her son-in-law promised money to kill her.

Two days after a 65-year-old woman was found bludgeoned to death in her house, the Thane police, based on the statement of another suspect arrested in the case, have arrested her son-in-law for allegedly conspiring to kill her.

Paresh Thakkar, the son-in-law of victim Maya Bahulekar was arrested on Thursday night, a day after Anil Raibole was arrested. Raibole, who allegedly killed Maya, claimed during interrogation that Thakkar had promised him money to kill Maya.

Thakkar was called to Thane Nagar police station on Thursday night for questioning and was placed under arrest at 9.30 pm. Both Thakkar and Raibole have been booked under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and remanded in police custody until December 20. "We examined Thakkar's cell phone and found he had called Raibole several times before and after the murder. There were also discrepancies in his statements and he behaved in a suspicious manner," said police inspector Hemant Sawant. Police said Thakkar has denied the allegations made by Raibole. According to the police, around 8:30 pm Wednesday, Raibole, whom the victim knew well, reached the residence and told her he had dropped in as he was passing by. During their conversation, he allegedly brought out a hammer from his bag and hit Maya five times on the face. To make it look like a robbery, he took Maya's necklace and some cash from the house, police said. The police said he is a graphics designer and lives in Vartak Nagar in Thane.

At the time of the murder, Thakkar, his wife Sonali and brother-in-law Vaibhav were in Mulund to attend a wedding reception. "We have cross-checked his alibi and found Thakkar was in Mulund like he said. We are questioning him and have not found any circumstantial evidence so far," said Sawant.

Thakkar is a rickshaw driver in Thane city and according to Raibole, intended to borrow money from someone else to pay Raibole for the murder.

"There are no eyewitnesses to the murder and no servants in the house. We are looking for other witnesses," Savant said.

Meanwhile, the hammer allegedly used by Raibole to kill Bahulekar was found in some bushes off the tracks near Thane railway station. "Raibole said he had dumped it there after killing Maya. However, we have not yet traced the necklace he had stolen from the house," added Sawant.

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