Seventy-two-year-old Anusaya Parash Dhyani, who was attacked in Chembur on Friday, is alive today only because of her neighbours who rushed to her aid as soon as she shouted for help.
Dhyani told police that after the man, pretending to be from a courier firm, barged into her house and stabbed her, she pushed him off and shouted for help at the top of her voice.
Within minutes, a neighbour, identified as Khanna, along with a few others ran up from the lower floor to Dhyani's flat.
The attacker, in his 20s, was still present inside the flat, but on seeing the neighbours gathered at the door, he threw away the knife, roughly pushed them all aside and and fled, the police said.
Sadanand Date, joint commissioner of police (law and order), said, "The woman was saved because of alert citizens, who rushed to her aid after hearing her cries. This is a shocking incident. We are taking all steps to curb such attacks. There has to be effective implementation of the awareness that we are spreading."
Following the attack, neighbours took Dhyani to Rajawadi Hospital and later to Joy Hospital in Chembur, where she is currently recuperating in the Intensive Care Unit.
The police said the man was likely to have carried out a reconnaissance of the building before zeroing in on Dhyani.
The police said the attacker was unable to rob the senior citizen as neighbours had rushed to her aid in time.
Dhyani lives with her daughter, who is employed with a private firm in Navi Mumbai. Her daughter was at work when the incident took place. The building has no watchman and neither does it have closed circuit television cameras.
The police have registered a case of attempt to murder and grievously injuring a person against the accused. "We have got enough information about the accused and are confident that we will catch him soon," Qaiser Khalid, additional commissioner of police (East region), said.
Senior citizen's injuries serious
Anusaya Dhyani, 72, sustained serious internal injuries, her doctors said. Dhyani who was first admitted to Rajawadi Hospital, was brought to Joy Hospital in Chembur at 5.30 pm. She was operated upon and is in critical condition. "She had a 2cm stab wound from her loins to her colon. Her blood pressure was very low and there was major blood loss," said Dr Roy Patankar, who runs the Institute for Special Surgery at Joy Hospital.