An elderly couple was found murdered in their Andheri (East) apartment on Monday night.
Based on a note found at the spot, the police suspect that the couple’s elder son, who is said to be mentally unsound, may have strangled them and also planned to commit suicide. However, it is believed that he lived with his parents’ bodies for two days before he locked the house and fled.
The deceased, Nooruddin Tajmal Bharmal, 87, and his wife Zubeida, 83, lived with their son Moiz on the first floor of Manisha Apartment on Church Road near Marol Naka. Their two other children — a son and daughter — are married and settled in Canada and Chennai respectively, the police said.
The younger son, Abbas, would send money for household expenses as Moiz was unemployed.
The murders came to light after residents complained of a foul stench emanating in the building. “Initially we thought it was a dead rat. When the stench became unbearable, we started searching for its source and realised it was coming from the flat of the Bharmals,” said a resident of the society who did not wished to be named.
On finding the flat locked from outside, the society secretary informed the couple’s daughter who suggested that they call the fire brigade.
When the firemen broke the door of the flat, they found the decomposed bodies of the couple. While Zubeida was in the bedroom, Nooruddin was found in the living room. The residents immediately informed the MIDC police.
The police found a note written in English by Moiz. Not addressed to anyone, the note written on both sides of the page said: “I am fed up of being unemployed and dependent and that is why I am taking this step. My son is going in the right direction.”
The note also indicated that Moiz had a strained relationship with his parents. “I don’t like my parents and do not want to live with them as they are mean and spiteful. My son needs specs please provide him with one. Cremate me where my doctor friend was cremated,” it said.
“On Thursday, Moiz had instructed the house help and the milkman not to come to work till Tuesday. Also, they were told to call before they came,” said Suhas Warke, deputy commissioner of police, zone 10. “The degree of decomposition of the two bodies indicates that the couple was murdered around three days ago.”
Warke said Moiz was working as a manager with a hotel located in Central Plaza in south Mumbai for a few months before he left the job.
Prior to that, he stayed with his wife and son Hussain in Pune. After his wife died a few years ago, Moiz came to Mumbai and started living with his parents. “Hussain stays in Pune and is working in a call centre. He is also doing a correspondence course in first year BA,” said Warke.
“Moiz was mentally disturbed after his wife’s death and the unemployment added to his problems,” said investigating officer Mohan Waghmare. “We will trace him soon. Prima facie it appears that the couple was murdered by strangulation. The bodies were sent to Cooper hospital and we are awaiting the post-mortem reports. We have booked Moiz under section 302 (murder) of the IPC.”