Police Arrest Suspect, Say Killing Antara ‘Smartly Planned’


Pune: A youth from Bengaluru, who was detained in connection with the brutal murder of a young IT professional Antara Das in Pune, has been arrested, with police suspecting it to be a case of stalking and harassment.

Santosh Kumar (25) was arrested late Wenesday night, days after he was detained for questioning, police said today.

“During investigation, it was revealed that Santosh Kumar had very smartly planned the murder. The accused claimed that he was present in Bengaluru on the day of the incident,” Additional Superintendent of Police Rajkumar Shinde said.

Antara Das, 21, was attacked with a sharp weapon near Kanbay Chowk in Talawade on the outskirts of Pune on Friday night, barely 500 metres from her workplace. She was declared dead upon arrival in a hospital.

Her parents had alleged that a youth was stalking and harassing her for some time.

The ASP said it was found that Kumar, who hails from Bengaluru and is also an IT professional, had tasked someone to execute the attack. A search is on to nab that person, he said.

“We have arrested Kumar under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and he will be produced before court today,” Mr Shinde said.

The accused had provided CCTV footage to the police, claiming that he was in Bengaluru on the day of the incident.

Mr Shinde said it was suspected to be a case of one-sided affair from Kumar’s side. The victim, however, treated him just as a friend.

“There are messages between them which showed that Kumar was forcing her to have a relationship with him. However, she was non-responsive and even reprimanded him for harassing her. We are looking out for the other person in this connection and the manhunt has been intensified,” he said.

Whereas on the other hand, the Pune police is likely to visit Kolkata in connection with the Antara Das(23) murder case.

According to Kolkata Police sources, they are aware of the Pune cops’ plans — though not the official date — and have promised all help as required. Sources privy to the visit said after questioning one of the main suspects from Bengaluru for the past 48 hours, sleuths say it’s time to widen their net and look at the involvement of some other individuals.

Pune police, meanwhile, have asked Antara’s family to be present when they question one of the main suspects in Pune for the third straight day. It is while preparing this list that the police came across the call details of Antara. It is here that they found two names – a man and a woman – who had known Antara for a long time and had renewed the friendship through social media weeks before the murder. While the woman is a schoolfriend who even trained with her in Bengaluru, it is a mystery man whom she had befriended on social media several days prior to meeting her alleged stalker who the cops are interested in tracing.