MUMBAI: You may find it difficult to live a double life but a Mumbai man has been living 14 different lives – with 14 different wives – over thelast couple of years. The police arrested the 40-year-old man, who used to be an engineer with Air India, on August 18 for marrying 14 women in the last two-and-a-half years. Police officials said Tushar Waghmare alias Tushar Bapat was sacked from his job soon after that. Five official complaints have been registered so far against Waghmare. The nine other victims were not coming forward to lodge complaints as they feared for their reputation, officials said.
Investigators said Waghmare registered his profile with a marriage portal and mentioned that he had divorced his wife in 2006. He mentioned on his profile that he was looking for working Brahmin women who could be divorcees or widows.
Officials said he “took care” of all 14 wives, including one from Nagar, though – in the end – it was they who looked after him after he had exhausted his monthly salary of Rs 70,000. Three of the women Waghmare married were architects or engineers, police officials said, and the others were homemakers.
Waghmare used to visit profiles of girls on marriage portals and would fix appointments with their parents at one of his rented apartments in Lokhandwala or Jogheshwari. “None of the women or their parents ever thought of doing a background check on him as they would be impressed with his job profile,” deputy commissioner of police R M Vhatkar told TOI.
Vhatkar said Waghmare would spend at least three consecutive days with each of his wives and then tell them that he had to travel to other states to attend official meetings; this way, he managed to spend time with all his 14 wives.
Senior inspector Vijay Raut said: “Waghmare married the victims after showing a bogus divorce letter written on stamp paper that was signed and had a notary’s stamp. We managed to get hold of five different marriage photographs of Waghmare.” Interestingly, there are a couple of faces that are common to every one of the five pictures; one them would pretend to be Waghmare’s father and the other would pose as his uncle.
Inspector Shivaji Phadtare said: “Waghmare started marrying women one after the other since his first wife divorced him in 2006. Waghmare changed his surname to Bapat (a Brahmin surname) so that he could marry Brahmin girls.”
Waghmare was finally caught after he married a 29-year-old architect in Mulund on August 11; she was a divorcee and had a son, officials said, and added they were surprised by Waghmare’s increasing audacity. He was living with one of his other wives when the architect’s parents came to visit him at his Lokhandwala home and he just sent her to the market for a couple of hours.
However, three days after they returned from honeymoon in Lonavala, this last of wives told Waghmare that her employers had asked her to go to Delhi on an assignment. “I was shocked when Waghmare replied that I could take my own time and could return whenever I wanted to. What shocked me even more was when he told me he would not mind at all if I had extramarital affairs. This prompted me to go to his Lokhandwala flat on August 16, when I met a 29-year-old woman who claimed that Waghmare married her in April 2009,” the victim mentioned in her complaint.
Investigators said they had received a letter from Air India, saying they were conducting a departmental inquiry against Waghmare for sexually harassing AI women employees since 2006. He has been remanded in police custody till August 29.