The father of the 25-year-old physiotherapist, who was raped and murdered on December 6 last year in a Vile Parle chawl, demanded a death sentence for the 27-year-old accused, Debasis Dhara.
The disconsolate father on Sunday told Hindustan Times how the crime had shattered his dream of giving his elder daughter a better life.
“We are a poor family. My wife had been asking me to buy a big house. But we sacrificed our comfort and instead took two loans of Rs12 lakh to fulfil her dream of becoming a physiotherapist. She was a brilliant student,” he said.
The father is the sole bread winner for his family of five and earns Rs20,000 a month.
He also shoulders medical expenses of his mentally-challenged brother who stays in his village.
“I was to take a third loan because my daughter wanted to complete her Master’s degree abroad. The degree in India is for three years while in other countries, it is a two-year course. She told me I shouldn’t take another loan and that she had saved nearly Rs1 lakh from her salary. All I wanted for her was a better life. But all our dreams were shattered by this incident,” he said.
“The case needs to be fast-tracked in the court and the accused has to be sentenced to death. What was my daughter’s fault?” he added.
The mother battled trauma before the December incident owing to the death of her brother. The death of her daughter aggravated her condition.
“Some media reports unnecessarily defaming my wife only added to our miseries,” the father said.
On December 6 last year, a neighbour saw smoke from the window of the victim’s room, on the first floor of the one-storey structure at Leelabai Chawl in Vile Parle (East).
She was found dead in the room with a pair of jeans around her neck. The forensic report revealed that the victim was raped and murdered.
The accused was brought to the city a few days ago after CCTV camera footage provided a breakthrough to the police.
Individual grilling of locals and CCTV footage solved case, says cop
Apart from 12 police officers and 25 constables from zone 8 of the Mumbai police, handpicked officers from the west region were roped in to crack the rape and murder of the 25-year-old physiotherapist.
Mahadev Nimbalkar, inspector of Vile Parle police station, said, “We sent our teams to different states but couldn’t get a breakthrough.”
The officer added how the case was finally solved with a combination of intelligence and technical evidence in the form of CCTV footage.
The team arrested the 27-year-old accused, Debasis Dhara, from West Bengal a few days back.
The DNA samples of Dhara matched with that of an unidentified person collected from the crime spot, said DCP Virendra Mishra.
Not only did the police grill locals, the father of victim was the first one to be taken in for questioning. “I had just completed the last rites and came home. The same day, the police took me to police station for questioning. At that time, I wondered why they are grilling my family, but we cooperated fully . But now I know I was wrong. They did a fabulous job,” said the father.
The teams questioned more than 500 people, including the patients of the victim, but got no leads. They got certain leads when they began individual questioning of locals and learnt about Dhara’s sudden behavioural change. Nimbalkar added, “There is no doubt that the accused will be convicted for his crime. We have a water-tight case against him. We are aiming at filing the charge sheet within 10 days.”