A 26-year-old woman was found hanging from the ceiling fan, and her two-and-half-year-old son was found dead on the floor of their rented flat in Airoli on Thursday night. Initial investigations reveal that the mother may have smothered her child to death, before killing herself. The incident came to light when her husband returned home from work and had to break open the door after his repeated knocks went unanswered. The deceased identified as Neeta Dighade, resided with her husband Nitin and son Sarthak on the first floor at Ashtivinayak society, Sector-15 in Airoli. The family of three had recently shifted to the city from Vidarbha, after Nitin was transferred here. He works as a junior clerk at the RTO office in Tardeo.
Tragic: The mother and son, who were found dead on Thursday night, resided on the first floor at Ashtivinayak society, Sector-15 in Airoli
R B Deshmukh, inspector from Rabale police station, said, “The lady was found hanging, while her son was found lying dead on the floor. The boy had no injury marks on his body, and hence it’s difficult to ascertain the cause of death. However, the possibility of murder-suicide cannot be ruled out. A note was also found in the residence in which the lady had written that no one was responsible, and that she was committing suicide on her own accord.”
Meanwhile, neighbours who did not wish to be named said that the family would keep to themselves and not interact much with other members. “Nitin had come home from work and had stopped by the society office to make a donation towards the Kojagiri Purnima celebrations, which we were planning for today.
After reaching his flat, he found no answer to his knocks. He, therefore, had to break open the door, and when he entered the home, he found his wife hanging and child lying on the floor. Neeta’s mother-in-law was residing with them earlier, but had left for their village only a few days ago. However, since they were tenants and had recently arrived in the city, nobody knew them very well,” said a neighbour.
The bodies of the mother and son were sent to Vashi’s Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Hospital for a post mortem, where the doctors have held their opinion in reserve, as further tests need to be conducted before the cause of death is determined. A hospital doctor said, “The cause of death in such cases, where there are no marks on the person’s body, could either be due to smothering or probably the food eaten could have been poisoned.”
Police officials, on the other hand, said it’s still difficult to establish why she took such an extreme step. “There were only three people who resided in the house. With two of them dead, we would have to probe the father after which we will get a better understanding of the case. The father will be questioned after all the final rituals are completed,” said G Gojre, senior inspector, Rabale police station.