The Mumbai police said that the actor, her boyfriend and their mutual friend had faked her ‘accident’ at Khopoli in Raigad district so that they could elope
Marathi actor Alka Punewar, who mysteriously disappeared while on her way to Uran in neighbouring Navi Mumbai for a stage show ten days ago, was traced to Chennai, where she had been staying with her boyfriend, the police said here on Wednesday.
Alka had left her home on December 27 for a stage show to Uran after which she was scheduled to reach Pune for another show. After the actor went missing, her car was found in a mangled state from a 700-feet deep gorge at Khopoli on December 30.
The mystery was solved when the Mumbai police crime branch traced their mutual friend Sanjay Sonkar and picked him up from his Panvel residence for questioning.
Allegedly, he confessed his role in the episode and narrated all the events that had transpired between the night of December 27 and the morning of December 28.
A Mumbai police crime branch officer said that Alka’s phone call records led them to her boyfriend Alok Paliwal, and later to Sanjay Sonkar, since a lot of calls were exchanged between them on the day that Alka went “missing”.
On December 27, Alka, Alok and Sonkar first went to Koparkhairane, where they discussed the plan, after which Alka was dropped at the CST railway station.
Later, Sonkar and Paliwal went to Khopoli, and on the way, they sent a text message to Alka’s husband Sanjay from her phone, so that examination of phone call records would indicate that she was in Khopoli.
Allegedly, both of them then pushed Alka’s car, which had been bought on a second hand basis three days earlier, into a ravine in Khopoli and also threw her phone there.
Sonkar returned to his Panvel residence, while Alka and Paliwal travelled separately to Pune, from where they first went to Bangalore and later to Chennai.
The Crime Branch has handed over Sonkar to the Kopri police in Thane which had registered a case for further inquiries, while a Thane police team left for Chennai to locate Alka and Paliwal on Tuesday evening.
No decision has been taken whether to arrest them for misleading the police or not, the police said.