Mumbai : Mankhurd police arrested a 44-year-old hospital staffer and union leader from Vashi on Thursday along with two accomplices for the murder of 28-year-old Rohini Ghorpade, who went missing in November 2018. Sunil Shirke had been in a relationship with Ghorpade whom he allegedly killed and buried in Raigad, with the help of two of his friends. A post mortem revealed Ghodpade died due to “unnatural head injury.” Shirke and the two accomplices have been charged for murder and destruction of evidence.
Rohini Ghorpade, a conservancy staffer with a civic run hospital in Navi Mumbai, was reported missing on November 16. She was last seen by her family on November 14, she’d left her residence at 11am, ostensibly to attend a friend’s wedding. Investigations revealed that Ghorpade, a widow, had been in a relationship with Shirke, 44, who is already married and works as a conservancy staffer at a Vashi hospital where he’s also a union leader. “Rohini had been asking Sunil to marry her. Sunil’s wife and family had learned about their affair and hence there were frequent skirmishes between them,” said Shahji Umap, deputy commissioner of police, zone 6.
The police believe Shirke plotted with two of his friends — Ramchandra Jadhav, 36, who works for a cable firm in Navi Mumbai, and Vijaysinh More, 22, a bus driver — to kill Ghorpade.
On November 12, 2018, Shirke dug what would end up being Ghodpade’s grave at a barren spot near Shirsad village, in Mangaon, Raigad. Two days later, Ghodpade and Shirke went to for a picnic to Shirsad in Shirke’s car, accompanied by More. Ghodpade’s family knew she was going for a wedding. Jadhav reached Shirsad by bus.
“The accused trio and the woman reached Shirsad village in Mangaon which is Sunil’s native place during night,” said Umap. “Investigations revealed that the woman was taken to a barren land where Ramchandra hit her head using a spade. When they realized that she was still alive, they smothered her to death using her saree,” he said. After burying Ghodpade in the pit that Shirke had dug two days ago, Shirke went to his family home while More and Jadhav returned to Navi Mumbai in Shirke’s car.
The Mankhurd police found their first clue when they learned there were withdrawals of ₹ 65,000 from two different ATM centres based in Navi Mumbai, on Ghodpade’s debit card on November 15 and 16. CCTV footage revealed Jadhav had withdrawn the money. “Initially, we were not able to identify Ramchandra as her family and friends did not identify him as being an acquaintance of Rohini’s. However, investigations revealed that he is Sunil’s friend,” said Umap.
When Shirke was questioned, he admitted to the police that Jadhav was seen withdrawing money from Ghodpade’s card and that he had killed her with his friends’ help. “The accused showed the place where the body was dumped. We exhumed the fully decomposed body in presence of executive magistrate and a post mortem was conducted at Sir JJ Hospital,” said Umap.