Nearly 19 months after 78-year-old was found with her throat slit, crime branch hopes to crack case
Police inspector Sanjay Nikam will investigate the murder, having been recently transferred to the Crime Branch after he and his team successfully nabbed Sajjad Mughal, convicted in the Pallavi Purkayastha murder case, nearly a year after he jumped parole.
With a new investigating officer assigned to the case, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch hopes to finally crack the June 2016 murder of a senior citizen in her home in Matunga.
Nearly 19 months after Manjula Vora, 78, was found murdered with her throat slit even as her 85-year-old brother Ravilal Doshi sat in an adjacent room, the Mumbai Police are still to ascertain even the motive for the killing. With robbery ruled out as nothing was missing from the home, investigators believe a financial dispute could be the reason.
Police inspector Sanjay Nikam will investigate the murder, having been recently transferred to the Crime Branch after he and his team successfully nabbed Sajjad Mughal, convicted in the Pallavi Purkayastha murder case, nearly a year after he jumped parole. On June 7, 2016, Vora was murdered inside her Matunga residence. CCTV footage and witnesses could only offer evidence of an unknown person wearing a cap entering the house.
According to the police, the suspect entered the house at 6.42 pm. Around 7.45 pm, Dr Dilip Shah, the complainant in the case, arrived for a regular medical check-up of Ravilal, who was suffering from dementia. As nobody answered the doorbell, the doctor went to the gate and enquired with the watchman. He made an intercom call to the house and a man claiming to be the new cook answered.
When Dr Shah returned to the flat, a man in his thirties opened the door and let him in, then claimed to be late for another cooking job and rushed away. The doctor then found Vora’s body. One angle the investigators had pursued was related to money Vora had loaned her regular cook. But when a team picked him up from his Rajasthan residence, the man, who had worked at the residence for nearly three decades before quitting in December 2015, was found to be innocent.
“Vora lent money on interest and had given Rs 1 lakh to her cook. He was still to return Rs 30,000. Someone informed us that recently the two had fought over the phone and Vora had threatened him, so we sent a team to Rajasthan but it turned out he was innocent. He was going to return the money,” said an investigator Another team was sent to Mudra in Gujarat to interrogate Vora’s stepdaughter Meenakshi Shah and trustees of the two trusts that Vora controlled. Her husband Manilal ran two trusts in Gujarat, the Laxmichand Manikchand Charitable Trust and the Laxmichand Vora Public Charitable Trust. Following his death in 1985, Vora looked after their functioning.
“We took statements from Meenakshi and the trustees. We checked their location as well on the day of the incident and even before and after. We didn’t find anything suspicious,” said an officer.Simultaneously, other teams were also sent to Bihar and Mumbra in Thane, after investigators received tipoffs about the man who had opened the door for the doctor.
At Matunga police station, meanwhile, a new investigating officer was appointed after the previous police inspector was transferred. “I will catch the culprit soon,” said inspector Ashok Thorat of Matunga police station. Investigators have until now interrogated more than 150 people, including Vora’s personal Chartered Accountant and vendors who entered the building premises that day. They have scrutinised more than 1,000 cellphones’ location on the day of the murder. “She got a call from a local PCO. Looking for a lead, we interrogated the PCO owner as well, but he couldn’t provide sufficient details on the suspect. On June 7, she even spoke to her sister for half an hour. We spoke to her sister also,” said an officer. No clues emerged.
Recently, the police station released a new sketch of the suspect. “The previous sketch didn’t help us much. So we drew a new sketch with a belief that it would help us in identifying him,” said an officer. A police team also recreated the scene of the crime with the help of Dr Shah and the two watchmen, Ramnath Dubey and Dinesh Tiwari. When contacted, inspector Nikam said, “I was recently transferred to Crime Branch unit 4, I am looking into every undetected case registered in zone IV.”
Unidentified body recovered near MAKAUT campus at Haringhata
Kalyani(WB), Feb 12 The body of an unidentified 26-year-old woman, with her throat slit, was today recovered from near a university campus in Nadia district, police said.
The body was spotted by locals lying along a water body at Baishpukur area of Haringhata in the early hours today, the police said.
The place from where the body was recovered is located at a short distance from the new campus of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad university (MAKAUT), scheduled to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tomorrow.
The MAKAUT which has been operating from Kolkata till now will be shifted to its Haringhata campus from tomorrow.
Auto driver stabbed with knife, not screwdriverTIMES NEWS NETWORK
Bengaluru: Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths, investigating the murder of K Santosh, said they have recovered a knife used in the JC Nagar killing. Initially, police said the accused had stabbed Santosh with a screwdriver, inflicting serious thigh injuries. He died on January 31.
Police had arrested four, including prime accused Wasim who is the son of block Congress leader Khader. “We thought Santosh had used a screwdriver. But the doctor said the injuries indicated that a different weapon had been used. Wasim confessed it was a knife,” police said. They recovered the weapon hidden near his house.
Asked why he had misled police, Wasim told the officers, “I knew the charges would be more severe for using a knife than a screwdriver.”
Santosh, a goods autorickshaw driver, had objected to Wasim smoking ganja. Wasim then barged into Santosh’s house and warned his mother that he would teach him a lesson. On January 31, Santosh shouted at Wasim and the latter stabbed him and fled. Santosh was rushed to Mahaveer Jain Hospital where he died while undergoing treatment.
Man stabbed to death for mobile phone
Bengaluru, DHNS: A group of men stabbed a 23-year-old man and robbed him of his mobile phone at K R Market on Monday night.
The victim, Bawara Ram Lal, ran for some distance to reach his room, informed his friend Kumar about the incident and collapsed due to heavy bleeding.
Kumar rushed Lal to Victoria Hospital but he was declared brought dead. Lal was working at Living Style on B V K Iyengar road.
A senior police officer said Lal was from Rajasthan and had come to the city a month ago. He was living in a rented room in Cottonpet with Kumar.
Lal’s wife Usha lives in the village back home.
Lal was returning to his room around 8.30 pm when a group of men stopped him near A S R Street and tried to snatch his mobile phone.
When Lal resisted, one of the assailants stabbed him in his leg, snatched the phone and escaped.
The police registered a case after the hospital staff alerted them.
Daily wager killed in brawl
Bengaluru, DHNS: A daily wage labourer was murdered in a drunken brawl on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old victim, Manikanta, was a resident of Sanjay Gandhi Nagar.
He was stabbed by his friend and left to die near the RMC Yard. Before he was stabbed, the victim was thrashed by his friend, Billu, and two others, Suman and Vijay. While Billu and Suman were arrested, Vijay is still on the run. According to the police, the incident took place around 12.30 am on Tuesday when the victim and the suspects were drunk.
The fight broke out when Billu started pestering Manikanta to give him the silver chain he was wearing. When the victim refused to part with it, Billu began thrashing him. Soon, Suman and Vijay came to the spot and joined Billu in beating Manikanta.
Ina bid to escape, the victim brandished a knife but before he could anything, Billu snatched it and stabbed him before fleeing the scene, the police said. A passerby noticed Manikanta lying in a pool of blood and rushed him to Sparsha Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries around 3.30 am.’
Cong leader hacked to death in Kannur
Thiruvananthapuram/ Kannur, DHNS: Political killings have returned to Kannur, for the second time in less than a month, with a 30-year-old Youth Congress leader being hacked to death near Mattannur late on Monday.
The deceased, M Shuhaib, was the Youth Congress block secretary in Mattannur.
The incident happened at about 11.30 pm on Monday near a road-side eatery at Theroor. A group of armed men who arrived in a van hurled a country bomb and attacked Shuhaib.
He died of serious stab injuries, early on Tuesday. Two other Congress workers – Naushad and Riyaz – also sustained injuries.
The Congress claimed that the ruling CPM was behind the killing. Preliminary reports said Shuhaib was also involved in recent clashes between student wings of the CPM and the Congress.
The local CPM leadership has refuted the allegation.
The Congress called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in the district in protest against the killing. “Shuhaib’s murder proves that the CPM continues to practise political fascism. Criminal gangs are operating with protection,” Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said.
Kannur, identified with its intense, long-standing political face-off between the CPM and the Sangh Parivar, had witnessed the killing of a RSS worker on January 19.
SC raps HC for bail to hate killing accused
NEW DELHI, dhns: The Supreme Court has strongly disapproved the grant of bail to members of fringe group Hindu Rashtra Sena, accused of brutal assault and murder of a man, with the reasoning that the fault of the victim was that he belonged to a different religion.
The top court said, in plural composition of the country, the courts called upon to deal with rights of various communities cannot make such observations, which may appear to be coloured with bias for or against a community.
Innocent Mohsin Sheikh was killed by the group members, who were returning after a meeting, in Pune in June 2014 as he was wearing a green shirt and sported a beard.
A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara said it is possible that the high court judge wanted to rule out a personal motive against the victim, but the observation only “emphasised communal hatred” and could be misunderstood as “a kind of justification for murder”.
“While it may be possible to understand a reference to the community of the parties involved in an assault, it is difficult to understand why it was said that “the fault of the deceased was only that he belonged to another religion” and further “I (HC judge) consider this factor in favour of the accused”,” the bench observed.
HC order set aside
The court set aside the Bombay High Court’s order of January 12, that granted bail to accused Ajay Dilip Lalge and Vijay Rajendra Gambhire. After going through the HC’s order, the bench said: “We find that the reason can, on a fair reading, be understood or misunderstood almost as a mitigating circumstance or a kind of a justification for the murder and it is obvious that the fact that the deceased belonged to a certain community cannot be a justification for any assault, much less murder.”