A day after a 58-year-old woman was stabbed to death in her flat in Mulund, the police said that her nephew, Saket Panase (19), is the prime suspect.
Panase, the son of Darbhe’s elder sister, visited Mangala Darbhe on Monday, three days before she was killed.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone VII) S Shintre told Hindustan Times, “The version of events given by him regarding the murder of Darbhe is highly contradictory. He claimed that two unidentified accused murdered Darbhe and attacked him before fleeing the spot, however neither the residents of the society nor the watchman spotted anyone leaving the building.”
He added, “Panase claimed that the accused fled the spot after he started yelling, however no one heard any such screams.” Panase, in his statement to the police, also stated that the two unidentified accused were trailing him from Pune, however failed to give any logical reason for the same said Mulund police.
Panase, a resident of Pune, where he was studying engineering at the Rambhau Maujhe college, visited Darbhe around 1.20 pm. Her son and daughter-in-law had gone to work.
Panase, who is currently in the BMC hospital at Mulund as he was complaining of dizziness, made a diary entry before entering Vasant Oscar complex at 1.23 pm.
Shintre said, “The murder took place between 1.30 to 2.30 pm on Wednesday that came to light after the maid Manisha Rathod (25), opened the door with a spare key finding Darbhe dead and Panase with minor injuries.”
He added, “ The cooking gas was still on when the body was discovered, so we suspect the 58-year-old was cooking when she was attacked. She has sustained 54 stab injuries, majority of which are sustained on her back leading us to believe that she was attacked from behind when she was cooking.”
Anand Darbhe, the deceased’s son initially refused to believe that there was a possibility that his cousin brother could be involved in such a ghastly act.
However, with the various contradictions, he did not rule out the possibility. Saket’s mother has denied any possibility of her son’s involvement in the murder of her younger sister.