A 72-year-old senior citizen who lives alone in a Malabar Hill flat was attacked and robbed of valuables worth Rs 13 lakh by two men on Saturday morning.
Her apartment is in the same upscale neighbourhood that houses the chief minister’s official bungalow, Varsha.
For 37 years now, Kuldip Bhatia, a widow, has lived on the second floor of Mansarovar Apartments on Mount Pleasant road. Her daughters, Harjit Chaddha and Harjot Malhotra are married. While Harjot, a clinical psychologist, lives with her family at Andheri, Harjit is settled with her family in Ireland.
Harjot said: “Around 10.15 am, my mother was buying vegetables from a vendor at her doorstep. Two unidentified men came to the corridor pretending to be searching for a flat.”
After the vendor left, they knocked on Bhatia’s door. “They claimed to be friends of Raju, a servant who had recently resumed working for us, and had worked at my mother’s place two years ago,” she said.
One of them allegedly told Bhatia he wanted work. Bhatia refused. When the man — aged 20-25 — gave Raju’s reference, Bhatia told them to come later when Raju was home. When Bhatia tried to shut the door, one of them grabbed her throat and pushed her inside. “They gagged me with my dupatta and took me into the hall,” she said.
One held on to Bhatia, while the other went inside the bedroom and looted the cupboard. “He pushed me down to the floor and held my wrists. Before leaving, they threw me into the bathroom,” said Bhatia.
After they left, Bhatia called the watchman, who informed building’s other residents who then called the police.
“The building's security cameras were not working. As renovation work was on in some of the flats, there were lots of labourers around. There were two watchmen on duty, but they may have mistaken the two men for labourers,” said Iqbal Sheikh, senior inspector of Malabar Hill police station.
One of the accused has been identified as Raju’s friend and is reportedly from Bihar, where a police team will be sent.