Three months after a moneylender slashed his own throat and died — reportedly disturbed by his wife’s alleged extra-marital affair — his widow, on Tuesday, allegedly fed her two daughters poison, then consumed it herself.
The victims have been identified as Aarushi (3) and Vriddhi (1.5). Their mother, Shilpa Joshi (33) is critical in the Intensive Care unit at Sion hospital. “Aarushi and Vriddhi were declared dead at 12.20 am and 12.30 am respectively. Shilpa had been booked on charges of murder and attempted suicide. We will record her statement once she regains consciousness,” said senior inspector Tulshiram Nagre of the Sion police station.
Sion police said Shilpa initially forced her two daughters to consume the poison. Around 10 pm on Tuesday night, Shilpa’s in-laws discovered the three unconscious in flat number 11 on the second floor of Shriniketan building at Sion. The flat, unoccupied for the last five years, is owned by her parents who live in Vashi.
Shilpa and her daughters lived with her in-laws in Jain Society, Sion.
The police said Shilpa, along with the children, left her in-laws’ house in the evening, saying she was going to the garden for a walk. “She would usually return in half-an-hour but when she did not, her in-laws phoned her mother Neeru,” added Naagre.
Neeru then phoned Shilpa’s friends and acquaintances. “Around 9.30 pm, Neeru called and told us Shilpa was missing. She asked if Shilpa had turned up at Shriniketan and we told her she had come to the flat around 7.30 pm,” said a neighbour.
He added that Shilpa had asked for a torch since there is no electricity in the house. “I gave Shilpa a candle and a glass of water. She told me she had some work in the flat and that she would come out in a while,” he said.
Shilpa’s parents called on her cellphone but got no answer. In half an hour, Shilpa’s mother called again and asked the neighbour to check the flat. Nobody responded.
Shilpa’s family came to the building and broke open the flat. “We found Shilpa and her daughters lying unconscious. We rushed them to Sion hospital,” said another neighbour.
“An empty bottle of Dursban, an insecticide, was found at the spot. There were no signs of a struggle,” said Sub-Inspector Ashok Raskar. At the hospital, Shilpa’s family refused to comment.