Grandson killed Patel to fund his partying

17-year-old Sreyash, aided by his close friend Pankit, robbed his kin, as the duo wanted funds for a night of revelry in hookah bars and pubs

In a major breakthrough, Crime Branch officials of the Mumbai police department have cracked the murder case of 67-year-old Sarla Patel, who was found dead at her Malad (West) apartment last Friday.

Victim of Greed: Sarla Patel was found dead at her home in Malad on Friday

Officials of the Crime Branch unit 11 arrested Patel's 17-year-old grandson Sreyash and his bosom buddy Pankit Shah yesterday, on charges of murder and robbery.

Sources divulged that Pankit, who was Sreyash's schoolmate, was often in the company of petty criminals, and was in the habit of frequenting bars and pubs, where he often blew up large amounts of money on a decadent lifestyle and the company of women. Once Sreyash fell into his company, he too became a part of this gang and began to commit petty crimes like bag-lifting and robbery.

On the day of the murder, Sreyash and Pankit wanted to go on one of their night-long jaunts to a hookah bar and a pub, but lacked sufficient funds to afford the visits.

Sreyash's was aware that his father Pankaj, who often frequented foreign nations on business, possessed quite a large store of foreign currency, which he had deposited with his mother, victim Sarla, for safekeeping.

In his desperation for money, Sreyash conspired to loot his own home on Friday. Punkaj and his wife had accompanied Patel's husband Raman, who is a heart patient, for a check-up to a hospital on Friday afternoon.

Seizing the opportunity, Sreyash called Pankit over, and the two easily gained entry to their apartment.

The two then tried to ransack Patel's cupboard. When Sreyash's grandmother apprehended them and put up a resistance, the two friends tried to strangulate her. Failing, they got hold of a small knife and slit her throat, before smashing her head.

Investigating officers began to piece matters together when the building's watchman revealed in his statement that he had seen Pankit and his friend Sreyash entering the building after the maid left at 3 pm.

Sources added that currency notes in pounds, dollars and euros had been found in Patel's possession when she was murdered, in addition to 70 tolas of gold, and gold biscuits. Of these, the euro notes and the gold biscuits were found in possession of Pankit.  

After making the arrests, Mumbai crime branch officials handed over the case to the Malad police station.

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