A woman in Maharashtra's Aurangabad allegedly staged her own death by killing her friend, disguising the body and burning it to mislead the police and her husband, the police said.
The woman, identified as 30-year-old Sonali Shinde, tried to frame her husband for abetting her "suicide" as she wanted to elope with her lover Chhabadas Vaishnav, 26, the police said.
After killing Rukhmanbai Mali, 31, with the help of her lover, Ms Shinde dressed up the body in her own clothes, footwear and some ornaments before setting it on fire.
"The body of a woman, who was burnt beyond recognition, was found at a farm in Pisadevei area near the city on May 24. A suicide note was also recovered from near the body," assistant inspector of Chikhalthana police station, Mahesh Andhale, said.
The note mentioned that the victim, Sonali Shinde, was ending her life as her husband was alcoholic and physically tortured her, he said.
"As the police assumed the body to be that of Sonali, her brother Amol was called for identifying it. He confirmed that the sandals, chain, rings in her fingers, the bangles and the dress on the corpse belonged to his sister. Accordingly, the body was handed over to him after the autopsy and the family members cremated her," Mr Andhale added.
Mr Amol later lodged a complaint against Ms Shinde's husband Sadashiv Shinde, accusing him of her murder. However, the note found near the body created doubt among investigators, the police said.
"Meanwhile, a missing person's report was filed with the police about a woman named Rukhmanbai Mali, a resident of Harsul in the city. A hunt was launched to trace her and the police also tried to find if her disappearance was linked to the death case," Mr Andhale said.
During investigation, the police found that Sonali Shinde was actually alive and had recently visited different places like Shirdi, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Surat, he added.
"Finally, Sonali was traced at Chalisgaon railway station along with her paramour and they were arrested. During their interrogation, Sonali confessed that they had conspired and executed the murder of Rukhmanbai, who was her friend," Mr Andhale said.
She also told the police that after killing her friend, she kept a suicide note in her own writing near the body. Further investigation into the case is on.
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