In a new twist to the sensational case relating to the TV executive Neeraj Grover, police on Friday claimed the killing was "pre-meditated" by Kannada film actress Marrayya Monica Susayraj and her naval officer boyfriend M L Jerome Mathew.
Police had earlier claimed that Grover's killing was a spontaneous act and the new disclosure came after police got hold of mobile phone records of Grover, Mathew and Susayraj which suggested that the act was pre-meditated, a top police official said.
"We got the call records yesterday. It was a pre-meditated murder and we have already applied section 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) in the case," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria told reporters in Mumbai.
About the possible motive for the murder, Maria said, "May be Mathew was angry because Grover had not delivered in getting Susayraj a role in any project."
Grover, a creative head with TV production house Synergy Adlabs, was stabbed to death allegedly by Mathew inside Susayraj's apartment in suburban Malad on May 7 over a suspected "love triangle".
Susayraj and Mathew allegedly chopped Grover's body to several pieces, put the parts in three bags and then disposed it of by burning at Manor in the neighbouring Thane district.
Susayraj, aspiring to get into TV serials, was friendly with Grover to get a break. Mathew was her childhood friend based in Kochi and arrived in Mumbai the same morning.
In support of their earlier argument that the killing was spontaneous, police had said that Mathew was infuriated at hearing Grover's voice in the background while speaking to Susayraj on the night of May 6 due to which he rushed to Mumbai.
They had further claimed that Mathew was furious on seeing Grover lying naked on Susayraj's bed when he reached Malad on morning of May 7.
Explaining the new findings, Maria said Susayraj made at least two calls between 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm on May 6 to Grover. Grover's friends have given statements to police saying Grover was not interested in meeting her that night, he said.
Susayraj made a call to Mathew at around 11 pm after Grover reached her home and within 15 minutes the naval officer logged on to a website to book a ticket on the first flight to Mumbai, Maria said.
In her confession recorded before a magistrate, Susayraj has accepted to having called Mathew on the night of May 6 saying "Grover is behaving very funny with me."
Maria said Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code would be slapped against both Susayraj and Mathew on the charge of killing Grover.