THE SENSATIONAL Bhumi Ramchandani murder case has been solved, police claimed here on Tuesday. As suspected, the killers were mother-in-law Dhanwantari, husband Manoj and father-in-law Jamnadas. The motive behind the murder appears to be constant fights between Bhumi and her mother-in-law and husband over household work, though police have not ruled out dowry also being a reason.
Informing about the breakthrough, additional SP (West) Dharmendra Chaudhary said police were still investigating various angles of the case and some more people might be arrested.
Dhanwantari told police that she killed Bhumi when she refused to do some household chore on that day. There had been constant bickering between the two and it had often come to blows. That day Dhanwantari stabbed Bhumi in her stomach with a knife and she collapsed. Dhanwantari kept stabbing her and she died.
Later Dhanwantari, her husband and son cut the body into two pieces and dumped it in the garden. She and Manoj fled the City, leaving her husband to complain to the police that they were missing.
Police said from what Dhanwantari told them, Bhumi was not good at household work and sometimes even refused to work. Also she frequently went to her parents’ house in Udaipur and refused to come back. She had gone for her brother’s marriage and had refused to come back, which had irked the in-laws. Manoj had later convinced her to come back.
Bhumi’s murder had sent shock waves in the entire city, and especially among members of the Sindhi community. On September 16, Juni Indore police had received information that the body of a woman, cut into two and wrapped in sheets had been dumped at a garden in Patel Nagar.
The body was naked and bore multiple stab wounds. Police also learnt from eyewitnesses that they had seen a woman, driving an Activa dumping some ‘objects’ during the course of the heavy rains that occurred that afternoon. While police were trying to identify the body, Jamnadas came to the police station with the cooked up story that his wife, son and daughter-in-law were missing and their house was locked.
Police questioned him extensively and when they opened his house at Sarvodaya Nagar, they identified the body with the photographs in the family album. Police said they arrested Dhanwantari and Manoj on Monday night near Navlakha bus stand.
THERE ARE a number of loose ends in the murder story, and the police are making the plea that they did not have sufficient time to question the accused to answer all questions. The only thing they are sure about is that the three persons arrested were responsible for the murder and disposing off the body.
The main question is whether a mere mother-in-law versus daughter-in-law bickering could lead to such a brutal murder. What was happening in the Ramchandani family was nothing unique, but rarely does it lead to murder, and that too in such a brutal manner. Bhumi’s family has expressed doubts that she had come to know of some family secret that led to the murder. Police are unwilling to say anything on this count.
Police are also cagey about the chain of events leading to the murder. What words were exchanged seconds before the murder, police are unwilling to say.
Asked whether professional killers were also involved, police are again hiding behind the plea that they have not questioned the accused thoroughly.
One fails to comprehend how long the police needs to find out these things. Jamnadas has been in police custody for the past two days, while Dhanwantari and Manoj since Monday night. Given that none of them are professional killers and this is the first time that they have committed a crime, it is inconceivable that it is taking police so long to tie all the loose ends.
Therefore it appears that the police are hiding some facts of the case, related to the motive behind the crime. One of the theories doing rounds is that police bargained with the family that if they surrendered, they would not divulge the real motive to the public, so that whatever little honour left in the family did not get tarnished.
Mother-in-law takes responsibility
TALKING TO the media Dhanwantari said that she alone was responsible for killing Bhumi. She had stabbed her daughter-in-law in the stomach and then had cut her into pieces with a scissors. She said Bhumi never listened to her and there were constant fights between them. She had no answer as to why she dumped the body in the garden, which was very near her house and why she used the Activa scooter, when she could have used their car.
RAJASTHAN CHIEF Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia has congratulated the Indore police for solving the Bhumi murder case so quickly. Bhoomi hails from Udaipur. The Rajasthan Chief Minister personally rang up Indore SP Anshuman Yadav to convey her gratitude.