A 58-year-old woman was murdered at her house in an upper middle class locality near a popular mall in Mulund on Wednesday afternoon.
Two unidentified men allegedly stabbed Mangala Darbhe to death at her third-floor home in Vasant Oscar Complex, Mulund (West). Her 19-year-old nephew, who was present when the incident occurred, was also injured.
Darbhe lived with her son, Anand (34), a business consultant, and daughter-in-law, Shilpa (30), who works for a software firm. Her nephew, Saket Panase, an engineering student from Pune, had reached her house an hour before the incident.
Saket told the police that at 2 pm two men aged between 25 and 30, entered Darbhe’s house and stabbed her with choppers. Their faces were covered, Saket said, adding that they stabbed Darbhe at least 20 times.
Saket claimed he was also stabbed when he tried to intervene. He said the accused fled when he raised an alarm.
The police, however, are not convinced with Saket’s version.
None of the residents or the security guards heard any screams or saw anyone enter or leave the building. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 7) S.V. Shintre said, “The society is well guarded and it is very difficult for anyone to enter and exit without being noticed. They also have a CCTV camera installed but they do not store the footage. So, it is useless in this case.”
An officer requesting anonymity, said, “The victim’s son had left the house at 8 am. Saket came to their house at 1.30 pm when the deceased was alone.”
At 2.45 pm, when the domestic help, Manisha Rathod, opened the door with a spare key she found Darbhe lying in a pool of blood and Saket with minor injuries, the officer said. “Saket started arguing with the watchman saying he had been yelling for help and two persons had fled the building. The watchman however denied hearing any screams or seeing anyone leaving the building,” the officer said.
Shintre said Saket had given contradictory versions. “He claimed that the two men had been following him since Pune,” Shintre said. Darbhe has another son, who is in America.