A day after she was strangled to death, the Delhi Police have ascertained that Anna Mammen, 79, was forced to look on as her assailants meticulously ransacked her east Delhi home on Tuesday afternoon.
"We are certain that at least two assailants are involved in the incident. Prima facie, it seems that one of them held her at the point of a weapon while the other plundered cash and valuables from the cupboards," said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity.
Police arrived at the conclusion after initial investigation revealed that five cupboards, located in different rooms of the senior citizen's ground floor residence in Vivek Vihar's C block, were found ransacked.
"Not even a single ransacked cupboard's lock was found to have been broken, which means that the assailants made her take them from cupboard to cupboard and threatened her to let them access their contents,” the officer said.
An English teacher who retired from Mater Dei Convent, Mammen lived alone on the ground floor of the two-storey house. Her daughter, Rebecca John, represents dentist couple Dr Nupur and Rajesh Talwar.
"The assailants, whom we suspect to be service providers such as neighbourhood electricians or plumbers, were known to the victim. That also explains the assailants' friendly entry into her residence,” the officer said.
"We have questioned around 20 people in relation to the crime. We are investigating the matter," said Dharmendra Kumar, JCP (New Delhi Range).
Mammen's daughter Rebecca said, "I'm not looking at the incident as a lawyer but as a daughter. The police are investigating the matter, let them investigate."