Every time a senior citizen is attacked in Mumbai, the police tout their scheme for the elderly, asking them to register at the nearest police station.
However, this did not help a 76-year-old woman in Mulund (East), who was assaulted, threatened at knife-point and robbed of Rs 2.28 lakh inside her house on Thursday.
Sarojini Rao, who lives in Gopikrishna society at Navghar, has registered herself at the nearest police station. Under the scheme, a police officer should have visited her regularly to keep a check on her. However, her family members claimed no personnel has ever come to their house.
According to the police, Rao, who had a paralytic attack a few months ago, was alone at her house on Thursday afternoon, when the accused, posing as the staff of a cooking gas company, entered her flat.
The man, suspected to be between 35 and 40 years of age, had come to her house on Wednesday too, said the police. He had shown her an identity card of a gas company and claimed he had to check the meter reading, but she told him the gas burner was malfunctioning.
He came back the next day and talked to Rao for a long time about her telephone and electricity bills.
“She told him she was unwell and her husband would give him the documents later. However, he asked for tea. When she went inside the kitchen, he came from behind and pushed her to the floor, taking away her earrings and bangles,” said a family member.
The accused tied a handkerchief on Rao’s mouth and dragged her to the bedroom, where he stole more valuables. “He then removed the handkerchief around her mouth and escaped,” said Ramdas More, senior police inspector, Navghar police station.
The distraught woman alerted her neighbours and contacted her husband. They approached the Navghar police station, and a case was registered.
The police said they will prepare sketches of the accused and are checking CCTV cameras in the area. “In August 2014, some people broke into the flat and ransacked it, but found nothing. They then escaped with two silver diyas. After that, we registered the details of our help and milkman with the Navghar police. They were supposed to make a visit every fortnight, but never turned up,” said the relative.
On April 16 last year, 70-year-old Laxmi Maruti Naik was found murdered in her first-floor home in a building at Gavanpada, Mulund (East). The police suspect she was robbed too. More than a year later, there is no headway in the case.