digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















The Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders were ten murders committed by Rajendra Jakkal, Dilip Sutar, Shantaram Kanhoji Jagtap and Munawar Harun Shah of Pune, India between January 1976 and March 1977. All the murderers were commercial art students at the Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Tilak Road, and were hanged for their crimes on 27 November 1983.[1] The group had acquired a poor reputation on their college campus for robbery and drinking.[2]


16 January 1976 – Prakash Hegde[edit]

Prakash was a classmate of killers at Abhinav . His father, Sundar Hegde, ran a small restaurant (Vishwa) behind Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya. The group hatched a plot to kidnap Prakash for ransom. On 15 January 1976, the foursome and classmate Suhas Chandak picked up Prakash on a false pretence and took him to Jakkal's tin shed on Karve Road. They forced him to write a note to his father saying that he was leaving home. On the night of 16 January 1976, they gagged him, took him to Peshwe Park which is just meters from Hotel Vishwa. There they strangled him with nylon rope, placed his body in an iron barrel, inserted some stones and dumped the barrel into the Park lake. The next day, they sent a ransom note to his father.

August 1976 – Kolhapur[edit]

The gang moved to the city of Kolhapur in August 1976, but were unsuccessful [clarification needed] when they targeted the house of a local businessman.

31 October 1976 – Joshi[edit]

Achyut Joshi, from Vijaynagar colony, was attacked on the night of 31 October. The group forced their way into his house, brandishing knives. Joshi and his wife Usha were the only ones at home. After tying the couple's hands and legs, the four strangled Joshi with nylon rope and suffocated his wife. When the Joshis' teenage son Anand arrived home, they stripped him naked and strangled him with nylon rope. The gang then stole several items, including a mangalsutra, a watch and several thousand rupees.

22 November 1976 – Bafna[edit]

Yashomati Bafna's bungalow on Shankarseth Road was attacked on the evening of 22 November. However, Bafna and her two servants fought back and the assailants escaped by climbing a barbed-wire fence around the perimeter.

1 December 1976 – Abhyankar[edit]

On 1 December 1976 at around 8 pm, the group attacked the Smriti bungalow on Bhandarkar Road belonging to the Abhyankars. There were five people in the house: noted Sanskrit scholar Kashinath Shastri Abhyankar (age 88); his wife Indirabai (age 76); their maid Sakubai Wagh (age 60), granddaughter Jai (age 21) and grandson Dhananjay (age 19). The four gained entrance by ringing the doorbell. When Dhananjay opened the door they stuffed his mouth with a ball of cloth, tied his hands and told him to direct them inside the house. The men killed each person by stuffing their mouths with a ball of cloth, tying their hands and legs and then strangling them with a nylon rope. The granddaughter, Jai, was stripped naked and forced to direct them to the valuables in the house before she was killed.

23 March 1977 – Anil Gokhale[edit]

Anil Gokhale was the younger brother of a college friend, Jayant Gokhale. On the evening of 23 March 1977, Anil was supposed to meet his brother at the Alka Talkies and was offered a ride home by Jakkal on his motorcycle. He was taken to Jakkal's shed, and strangled with a nylon rope. His body was tied to an iron ladder, weighed down with boulders and dumped into the Mula-Mutha river near Bund Garden.


Assistant Commissioner of Police Madhusudan Hulyalkar led the investigation. On the evening of 24 March 1977, the body of Anil Gokhale surfaced near Yerwada. The police team, led by Police Inspector Manikrao Damame, noticed that the nylon ropes used to tie the body to the ladder were fastened in a manner identical to earlier murders. The police had initially thought the murders were a result of botched robberies, but were soon faced with the fact that they were following a group of serial killers. Cases like these were rare at that time in India, and the police began an intensive investigation to prevent additional deaths. When questioned by police, the four men contradicted each other about their movements in the city over the previous week. Satish Gore (a colleague) cracked under questioning, leaking information about Prakash Hegde's murder and the location of his body. The signatures of strangulation with nylon rope and a specific knot also helped police zero in on the culprits. Further confessions were made by another classmate, Suhas Chandak, who was a witness to the Hegde killing. The killers were apprehended on 30 March 1977.[3]

Court case[edit]

Shamrao G. Samant, a senior criminal lawyer who had conducted many successful prosecutions for the state government, was appointed special public prosecutor for the trial. The case began on 15 May 1978 in Pune district, lasting more than four months. On 28 September 1978, they were sentenced to death by Pune Sessions Court Judge Waman Narayan Bapat. Their sentences were confirmed by the Bombay High Court on 6 April 1979, and their special leave petitions against their convictions and sentences were dismissed by the Supreme Court on 17 November 1980.


After both the High Court and Supreme Courts turned down their appeals, the accused approached the President of India for a pardon. The pardon was not granted, and the four were hanged at Yerwada Central Jail on 27 November 1983.

Popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Ramakant Kulkarni, Footprints on the Sands of Crime. MacMillan India (2004), ISBN 978-1-4039-2361-5[[Category:History of Maharashtra (1947–presenthhm

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshi-Abhyankar_serial_murders — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

14 news items


Sun, 02 Aug 2015 23:00:00 -0700

Paanch: The Anurag Kashyap, said to be based on the Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in 1997, faced the Censor Board heat for its violence, crass language and drug abuse. It decided to ban the film and people awaiting the release of the film had to make ...


Sat, 25 Jul 2015 03:41:15 -0700

The film is loosely based on 1976-1977 Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in Pune and the film's language, violence and depiction of drug abuse meant that the Censor Board was never comfortable with its release. Even though it was cleared in 2011 after ...

India Today

India Today
Wed, 24 Jun 2015 03:07:30 -0700

Anurag Kashyap's debut movie Paanch was banned on the ground that it glorified youth indulging in violence and drugs. This movie is loosely based on Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders of 1997; it is a thriller with high violence, crass language and drug abuse.

India Today

India Today
Fri, 26 Dec 2014 01:21:49 -0800

Paanch starring Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastava, Vijay Maurya, Joy Fernandes and Tejaswini Kolhapure, is loosely based on the 1976-77 Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in Pune, with a liberal dose of drugs, sex, smoke, swear words and the like. Well ...

Business of Cinema

Business of Cinema
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 04:48:45 -0700

Anurag Kashyap is still awaiting the release of his debut film, Paanch. The film was on Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders of 1997 and was laced with gruesome violence, plush use of expletives and much more. No wonder that the Board didn't feel too ...


Thu, 12 Dec 2013 05:00:07 -0800

There is always a curiosity revolving around things the Censor Board stops us from watching. Remember the time when your mother warned you against watching a certain film on television and how you switched it on again the very moment she went out to ...

Rate Movies Here

Rate Movies Here
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:45:00 -0800

It is an unreleased Indian film written and directed by Anurag Kashyap which is partially based on the 1976-77 Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in Pune and was never given the opportunity for a theatrical release. This movie was also given a red signal ...

Jagran Post

Jagran Post
Sat, 23 Jun 2012 00:39:19 -0700

It was loosely based on the 1976-77 Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders in Pune. "That was the time when I was not just planning to act in Anurag's 'Paanch' but also co-produce. He had written three career changing films for me - 'Satya', 'Kaun', 'Shool ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight