A slight delay in getting her newly-hired domestic help registered with the police might have cost Bharti Shah her life.
Two days before the 68-year-old woman was found murdered, policemen from the Juhu police station visited her society with a notice asking members to have all domestic help registered.
"Shah even spoke to her sister about getting her domestic help registered with the police. However, she said she would do it after two or three days," said Arun Bhagat, senior police inspector of Juhu police station. Before she could get it done, however, Shah was murdered in her flat at Anand Society, Juhu. The two domestic help have been missing since Monday, when the murder came to light and police suspect their involvement in the crime.
Last week, police stations in the western region from Bandra to Andheri began a drive to ensure that all domestic help in the region are registered. A notice is being sent to secretaries of all housing societies, asking them to provide the names and addresses of domestic help, along with a contact number of a relative within seven days. Notices were sent out starting September 6 and police began collecting data from each society on September 8.
The drive was started by Vishwas Nangre Patil, additional commissioner of police (west region). "Domestic help will have to provide their details to the police; those who have provided wrong information will be questioned," said Patil.
The police will verify the antecedents of each individual and scan for any criminal record. "We will verify the address provided by the domestic help, even if it is in a village. Only when the information is proved to be accurate will the person be allowed to work. If the details are wrong, we will take action," Patil added.