Nikam had insisted that Pawar marry her soon after she learnt that she was pregnant with his child. Nikam's parents were against the alliance and refused to let their daughter attend office for a while. On June 23, 2007 while Nikam moved to her office after a long hiatus, Pawar seized the opportunity and attacked her.
Pawar stabbed her brutally 27 times near the MSRTC workshop at Khopat around 9.30 am during the rush hours. A bleeding Nikam lay on the road crying for help, while her attacker turned the knife on himself and attempted to commit suicide.
Pawar, who was bleeding from his self-inflicted stab wounds, also pleaded for help and insisted that he wanted to go with his lover to the hospital. Anil Shinde, a TOI photojournalist, who was passing by the area witnessed the entire incident and rushed to the hospital to treat Nikam.
Pawar, following in another auto managed to escape somehow by jumping into the Makhmali Talao when the auto slowed down. "He swam through the waters and after cleaning off the bloodstains, took a bus to Nashik. He created a fake identity and got himself treated for his injuries in Nashik. He returned to Thane on June 28, only to be nabbed by the police," said chief public prosecutor R J Kadri.
Four years after the gruesome murder which shocked citizens in the lake city here, principal sessions judge K K Sonawne on Saturday awarded Pawar the life sentence. The court also made him pay a fine of Rs 5,000. "The dying declaration of Nikam, while she was being taken in an ambulance to Sion Hospital, sealed Pawar's fate. She named him in the assault and also briefly explained the reasons for the crime of passion," Kadri said.
Nikam died in the hospital two weeks after the attack.