Murder in Malabar Hill: With GRP help, cops nab 20-year-old house help from Bhusawal | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Murder in Malabar Hill: With GRP help, cops nab 20-year-old house help from Bhusawal

ByVinay Dalvi
Mar 14, 2024 07:36 AM IST

A 67-year-old woman was found strangled to death in her Mumbai apartment. Her house help was arrested while trying to flee with her gold bangles worth ₹3 lakh.

MUMBAI: A day after a 67-year-old woman was allegedly strangled to death inside her upscale Nepean Sea Road apartment on Tuesday, the Malabar Hill police on Wednesday managed to trace her 20-year-old house help at Bhusawal railway station in Jalgaon district and arrested him with the help of the government railway police (GRP).

Murder in Malabar Hill: With GRP help, cops nab 20-year-old house help from Bhusawal
Murder in Malabar Hill: With GRP help, cops nab 20-year-old house help from Bhusawal

According to the police, the accused, identified as Kanhaiya Kumar Sanjay Pandit, is originally from the Sitamarhi district of Bihar and fled with the victim Jyoti Shah’s diamond studded gold bangles, valued at around 3 lakh. The police believe he was headed to his native place.

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The police said the accused had taken a train from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) Kurla for Bihar. “On a tip-off through technical support we managed to trace his location and with the help of GRP detained him at Bhusawal station,” said an official.

“Kanhaiya’s father Sanjay Pandit works as a security guard in a society near Tahnee Heights, where Jyoti Shah resided, and his elder brother works in Crawford Market,” said the police officer. The police said after the murder, the accused had switched off his phone and the cops had detained his father. He later called his father before reaching Nashik after which the railway police were alerted and they searched the train and detained the accused at Bhusawal. According to the police, the Shah family had hired Pandit on Monday - a day before the incident. “He was supposed to work and stay at their house in the servant’s quarter. The family owns a 4 BHK flat with a servant room in sea-facing Tahnee Heights at Nepean Sea Road,” said a police officer.

The deceased’s husband, Mukesh Shah, 67, and his daughter, Neha Shah, 42, left their house for their jewellery store in Trident Hotel at Nariman Point around 1.30pm on Tuesday.

“Neha, who called her mother every evening to check on her, called her around 6pm but she didn’t answer the call. She then called the landline which also went unanswered, she then called Kanhaiya whose mobile was switched off. She then tried their cook Ashok Maharaj’s phone number, who picked up and told her that he came to the house around 5pm but nobody opened the door, and therefore left the place. She then called the manager of their neighbour and asked him to check on her mother. The manager knocked on the door for some time, but didn’t get any response,” said the police officer. Suspecting something wrong, both the father and daughter left the store for home. “They reached around 6.30pm and when nobody opened the door after ringing the doorbell for some time, they opened the door with a spare key. They found the deceased Jyoti Shah, 67, lying on the bed. The neighbours who also by then gathered and the local police rushed her to St Elizabeth Hospital in Malabar Hill where she was declared dead upon arrival,” said the police officer.

The police said they found two diamond studded gold bangles worn by Jyoti were also missing, costing around 3 lakh. “Their house has three CCTV cameras, Kanhaiya was hired on Monday on a salary of 16,000 and was supposed to stay in their house and help. He came to Mumbai three months ago and was working in the society with other members. After seeing the footage, we came to know of the crime which occurred after 2.30pm when Jyoti and Pandit both were in the flat. Jyoti, after finishing work, went to the bedroom and later the accused went to her bedroom. That’s when we suspect he committed the crime by strangling her. The motive appears to be theft. However, we will question him after arrest to find out the exact reason. The cause of death in the post-mortem is strangulation,” said the police officer. There was more jewellery in the house, however, nothing had gone missing from that lot. The family after completing the post-mortem at JJ Hospital, performed the last rites at Banganga Crematorium in Malabar Hill.

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