Samir Lokhane (name changed on request) was understandably distraught on his wife’s disappearance just hours after their wedding. But there was more grief in store for him. The Gorai resident later learnt that his 22-year-old spouse had in fact run off with the Rs 1 lakh he had provided her for shopping.
This was just the beginning of Lokhane’s edification. Turns out, Jyotika Patel -- if that is her real name -- has used this modus operandi at least 20 times in the past. And her relatives Lokhane and his family met in the months preceding the marriage were all impostors.
“My folks wanted me to tie the knot. We came to know about Jyotika through some relatives. We had gone to her home in Valsad two months ago. Here I met Jyotika for the first time in the presence of several of her family members.”
According to officials, Jyotika told the Lokhanes that she came from a very poor background but would be a good and faithful wife to Samir. Following this, the two families met several times, but in Mumbai and not in Valsad.
On March 19, the two formalised their union at Bandra’s marriage court. As Jyotika had said she was poor, the complainant had promised to give her one lakh rupees for shopping, and he kept his word. The same evening the couple went to a shopping centre in Borivli. After a while, Jyotika told her husband that she was feeling nauseated and would be back in a few minutes. This was the last Lokhane saw of her.
“I kept calling but her mobile phone was switched off. I fruitlessly searched for her all over. I then called all her relatives, including mother and aunt, but their phones were switched off too. Smelling something fishy, I asked a relative of mine in Valsad to go to their house, which was locked. The next day I went to Borivli police station and registered a cheating case.”
Cops said Jyotika had rented the dwelling in Valsad for a day, paying Rs 10,000.
ACP Vijay Mistry from the Borivli division said, “With the help of Valsad police we arrested Kalpana Patel and Asha Patel, who acted as her mother and aunt, yesterday morning. They have been charged with cheating and will be produced in court today. Search for Jyotika and her other associates is on.”
Kalpana told the cops that Jyotika had paid her Rs 1,000 to pretend to be her mother.