Local residents of a chawl in Vile Parle (East) were jolted out of their slumber when someone spotted smoke coming out of their 24-year-old physiotherapist neighbour’s house around 3.15am. A couple of them unlocked the door to find her body with a pair of jeans around her neck.
A neighbour said, “I saw smoke from her house. It was locked from the outside. We unlatched the door and the room was covered in thick smoke.”
He along with the woman’s cousin helped douse the fire and pulled her out of the room.
“She was not breathing and there were no clothes on her body. There was a jeans tied around her neck. I checked for a pulse, but there was none,” the neighbour said.
Local residents said they are always out in the area till after midnight.
Another resident said, “Most of us stay awake till late. Women would always stay out talking till 2am.”
He said there has not been a single break-in at the chawl.
The victim was last seen with her friends, who visited her house and stayed there until around 11pm.
One of her friend’s father Ravindra Kambli said, “She was a friendly girl and was good friends with my daughter. It is shocking that something so brutal happened to her.”
According to police, the incident took place somewhere before 3.30 am. They got a call from a local resident saying smoke was emanating from a small room in Leelabai Chawl on Shraddhanand Road.
The 24-year old was found in a small room above the ground floor, where she lived, while her family lived in the room on the ground floor. Her room had a separate door.
Her body has been sent to Cooper hospital for a post mortem. The report is awaited.