Police officials said the couple along with their two daughters had shifted to the city from Uttar Pradesh three months ago and had taken up residence at Daima Road in Bandra (E).
During investigation, most of the neighbours said the couple would have nasty fights on a regular basis. “Sangeeta’s husband and his relatives were unhappy that she delivered a second daughter and held her responsible for it. Her husband was booked in a dowry harassment case in their hometown in UP,” said Rekha Badguzar, a neighbour of the Kanojiyas.
“Whenever I met Sangeeta, she would complain that her husband was physically assaulting her on a regular basis.”
Anil was also accused of stuffing a piece of cloth into Sangeeta’s mouth before he beat her, so that her screams did not alert the neighbours.
Police officials said Sangeeta was feeling unwell and was taken to a nearby hospital by Rekha on Sunday.
She was administered a bottle of saline and discharged in the evening. During the time she was hospitalised, Rekha took care of her daughters.
Rekha said Anil knocked on her door at 6 am on Monday and told her that Sangeeta was lying motionless on the bed.
“He said my wife is lying motionless on the bed. I got scared and rushed to their residence along with my husband to check on Sangeeta. We tried waking her up, but to no avail,” Rekha said.
Rekha, her husband and Anil rushed Sangeeta to Bhabha Hospital, but she was declared dead on arrival.
Doctors who examined Sangeeta said that she had died a few before she was brought in. Noticing fingermarks on Sangeeta’s throat, they informed the police. Officials said during the entire journey to the hospital, Anil was trying his best to cover Sangeeta’s throat.
At times he would hold her neck or use her dupatta to cover it. On one occasion, he even placed Sangeeta’s hair in such a manner that it covered her throat.
Police officials reached Bhabha Hospital and sent Sangeeta’s body to Sion Hospital for post-mortem, where the exact cause of death — strangulation — was revealed.
“Based on the revelation in the autopsy report, we arrested Anil following which he confessed to the crime. But we are yet to ascertain the exact motive behind his act. Anil is now in police custody.
We’ll reach a conclusion once we interrogate him. Unfortunately, nobody from Sangeeta’s family has claimed her body, which is lying at the Sion Hospital morgue. There’s no one to look after her children,” Senior Police Inspector Ramesh Khankale of Nirmal Nagar police station said yesterday.
Rekha said she would look after Sangeeta’s daughters.
“This is a cruel twist of fate for the children. We will look after Sangeeta’s daughters till the time her family members come to claim custody of them,” Rekha said.