Rakhi Balpande (36) is an admin officer with a multinational firm who has been estranged from her husband Tarun for three years. The love marriage had soured after claims of domestic violence and the divorce case had been pending in a Pune court. Her partially-disabled son, Chaitanya (13), had been living with her and had found out about her affair with her landlord, Sumit More.
Fearing that she would be exposed, Balpande thrashed Chaitanya with the help of More. Preliminary reports state that it was a planned murder.
Swapna Gore, ACP (Khadki Division), said, “On the basis of mobile phone records and testimonies of her next-door neighbor and family members, we realized that for the past six months, Rakhi and More were in a relationship. Rakhi had filed for divorce and demanded maintenance for herself and her son.”
On Wednesday, both beat Chaitanya at around 7 PM, and then took him to Sassoon General Hospital, saying that he had slipped in the bathroom. Post-mortem reports suggest that he was tortured for 2 days.
The post-mortem doctor stated, “We observed bleeding from his nose and mouth. An inch long wound was found near his head, and another of almost two inches near his ears. There are multiple injuries on his shoulders and abdomen. There are chances that the boy might have been kicked repeatedly. We have preserved the viscera for analysis.”
“Death occurred due to blunt trauma to the chest and abdomen. There are multiple contusions over his body. His kidneys had failed and lungs were also damaged.”
On Friday, Rakhi Balpande was produced before the judicial magistrate and remanded to police custody till 10th August. Sumit More was arrested as the co-accused by the police on Saturday. He has been remanded to police custody till August 12.
Balpande said that she thrashed her son with a bat and killed him in self-defense as he tried to get ‘intimate’ with her.
Meanwhile, estranged husband Tarun claims that it was Chaitanya’s insistence about meeting his father that got him killed. Tarun, who has been residing in Nagpur, rushed to Pune when Rakhi’s sister phoned to tell him about Chaitanya’s death. Rakhi’s sister also claims that Chaitanya used to insist on meeting his father. Chaitanya had been pulled from school after sixth grade and was not allowed to play with other kids. He was denied access to the television or even a computer.
It is now being suggested that Balpande wanted Chaitanya dead to claim a 10 lakh insurance policy. She also scared her own mother from helping Chaitanya by saying she’d file a kidnapping case against her.
According to the post-mortem, Chaitanya had multiple injuries and was bleeding from his private parts. The investigation of his teeth also revealed that he had been hit with a blunt object. His stomach contents showed that he hadn’t eaten for over twenty-four hours. His left hand was completely purple while his butt had multiple injuries.
Puja Patil, a neighbor, said, “If we would try and intervene, she would hurl abuses at us and threaten us saying she would lodge a molestation case against my husband.”