Despite the police’s sustained efforts to protect senior citizens living alone in the city by setting up a helpline and also a website where they can register easily, the elderly are still vulnerable to crime.
On Sunday night, unidentified persons attacked an elderly mother-daughter duo in their first-floor flat in Sunita Apartments at Grant Road.
While 87-year-old Samtaben Gandhi is critical at Breach Candy hospital with severe head injuries, her daughter Ila, 60, was declared dead before admission.
“We suspect that she was strangled. We found scratch marks on Ila’s face and neck. Moreover, the heads of both women have turned black,” said Sanjay Diwadkar, senior police inspector from the Gamdevi police station. The police are awaiting Ila’s post-mortem report to ascertain the exact cause of death.
“Ila was mentally unstable and used to live with her mother. Deepak and his brother lived in the same building and would often check on their mother and sister,” said an officer from the Gamdevi police station. “It appears that whoever committed the assault knew that both sons were out of town.”
The police have ruled out robbery as a motive. In June 2007, the Mumbai police set up a senior citizens’ helpline, 1090, after a spate of crimes against seniors in the city. On September 18, 2009, the police launched a website, Hamarisuraksha.com, to help senior citizens register easily with the helpline.