Sangli family murders: Cops arrest real estate agent who provided poisonous substance to ‘mantrik’

Sangli family murders: Cops arrest real estate agent who provided poisonous substance to ‘mantrik’

Roger Pettingell Sarasota Real Estate

The Sangli District police Monday arrested a real estate agent from Talegaon Dabhade in Pune for allegedly providing a poisonous substance that was used by a “mantrik”, who proclaimed to have supernatural powers, and his aide for killing nine members of a family in Mhaisal town.

Sangli Police had earlier arrested two persons in the case — Abbas Mohammedali Bagwan (48), the “mantrik”, and his aide and driver Dheeraj Suravase (30) — both residents of Solapur. The police identified the real estate agent as Manoj Chandrakant Kshirsargar (48), a resident of Talegaon Dabhade in Pune district. Officials said that Kshirsagar originally hails from Solapur and has known Bagwan for a long time. He moved to Talegaon Dabhade six years ago.

“Kshirsagar has been remanded to police custody till July 8 and he is being questioned on the poisonous substance he provided the other accused,” said Inspector Ajay Sindkar of the Sangli Crime Branch.

On the afternoon of June 20 around 1 pm, two brothers, Dr Manik Vanmore (49), a veterinarian and Popat Vanmore (52), an arts teacher, their mother, their wives, four children of the two couples were found dead in their two separate houses located a kilometre apart in Mhaisal. While the initial probe pointed to suicide based on the notes found in the two houses, the probe later revealed that it was actually a case of murder planned and executed by Bagwan. It was also known that Bagwan had been promising the Vanmores hidden treasures and had been taking large sums of money from them on the pretext of performing various superstitious rituals.

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The probe revealed that on the night of June 19, Bagwan came to their house on the pretext of some ritual. He then crushed the poisonous pills he was carrying and added the powder to nine bottles. He then made each of the nine members of the two houses consume the contents of the bottles.

While the police are still awaiting the chemical analysis report, the investigators suspect the pills may have contained a poisonous substance used by goldsmiths.

The starting point of the police investigation was the two suspected suicide notes, which suggested that the family members took the extreme step because of heavy debt. Based on the probe into the content of the suicide notes, the police had initially booked 25 persons, most of whom had lent money to the family members and were allegedly pressurising them for repayment. Of the 25 persons, the police arrested 19 persons. But further probe into the case revealed that the deceased brothers were in contact with Bagwan, who allegedly claimed he would help them unearth hidden treasures. The two brothers had then borrowed large sums of money from people to pay Bagwan from time to time, over the last couple of years.

The police said Bagwan performed rituals at the Vanmore’s residence multiple times on the pretext of finding hidden treasure. Meanwhile, those who had given the money to the Vanmore brothers had started asking for it. The Vanmore brothers asked Bagwan to either find the hidden treasure or return the money they had paid him. The probe revealed that Bagwan was worried that the Vanmores would report to the police. So, he and his aide Survase hatched a plan to kill them.

The probe also revealed that Bagwan hatched the plan about two months back and took details of the persons who were harassing the Vanmore family. Bagwan allegedly got the names and other details of these persons written from the Vanmores saying “before Eid” he would keep it before God. The accused then took these written notes with him to Solapur and used it as suicide notes after killing the Vanmore family.

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