A woman allegedly tried to fake her own death by killing her friend with the help of her paramour in Aurangabad, police said Saturday.
According to police, the accused Sonali Shinde (30) tried to frame her husband for abetting her "suicide", as she wanted to elope with her paramour Chhabadas Vaishnav (26).
After killing Rukhmanbai Mali (31), the accused duo dressed her body with Sonali's clothes, footwear and some ornaments before setting her body on fire to misguide the police.
Sonali, a resident of Jadhavwadi area of Aurangabad, and Vaishnav were arrested from Chalisgaon in Jalgaon district of north Maharashtra on Friday, police said.
"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 life as her husband was a drunkard and physically tortured her, he said.
"As 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," Andhale said.
Amol later lodged a complaint against her husband Sadashiv Shinde, accusing him of her murder.
But the note found near the body had created a suspicion in the mind of the investigators, the policeman said.
"Meanwhile, a missing person's report was filed with the police about a woman named Rukhmanbai Mali (31), a resident of Harsul in the city. A hunt was launched to trace her and police also tried to find if her disappearance was linked to the death case," he said.
During the investigation, police found that Sonali was alive and she 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," Andhale said.
She also told the police that after killing her, they placed her (Sonali's) sandals in her feet, put her bangles, rings and dress on the body to feign her own death and to misguide the police and also kept a suicide note in her own writing near the body, he added.
Further investigation into the case is on.