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Thursday, August 7 1997

Woodcutter butchers wife to please goddess

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

AURANGABAD, Aug 6: A woodcutter from Patoda tehsil of Beed district butchered his fifty four-year-old wife to death, on Saturday, ostensibly to appease the village goddess on the auspicious beginning of the Shravan month.The police maintain that the so-called `human sacrifice' is a case of culpable homicide - the result of a two decade long quarrel between the couple. Shivaji Rama Gaikwad (60) has been booked under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

Even locals refuse to believe that it was a `sacrifice' to the goddess Mariaai, since generally only domesticated animals or fowl are used for ritualistic sacrifices for the occasions like the Shravan festival. Pointing out that the couple had been living apart since a decade, people have admitted to knowing that on several occasions the accused had threatened to murder his wife, the police said.

Villagers point out that Gaikwad, who was a drug addict and a compulsive alcoholic, merely used the appeasement pretext to end the a two decades of bitter tiffs by murdering his wife in cold blood.

The Ambajoggai police who have him in custody, even have an eye witness account of the gory incident by four women. Talking to The Indian Express over the telephone, the superintendent of Police, K Karwe said that he did not believe the incident to be anything else but culpable homicide.

Copyright © 1997 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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