A 22-year-old auto driver was arrested by the Malwani police yesterday for allegedly strangulating his 18-year-old girlfriend, Savitri Bharra, and then taking the help of his cousin to make the death look like suicide. The accused was upset because Savitri’s mother had refused to give them permission to get married.
He had slapped the mother at a temple just some time before killing Savitri. On January 22, the accused, Mukesh Chhedilal Varma, had gone to the Jivdani Mata Mandir in Virar with Savitri and her family members. At the temple, he expressed his desire to marry Savitri, but her mother refused, and a heated argument ensued. Varma slapped the mother and left the temple with the girl.
Varma and Savitri went to their shanty in Gangabavdi Madh, where they stayed with his cousin, Satish. The men drank heavily and Varma, who was upset at the refusal, began calling the girl’s mother names. When Savitri asked him to stop doing so, he flew into a rage and strangulated her with a nylon rope. To make the death look like suicide, Varma and Satish used the rope to hang her from the ceiling fan.
When Savitri’s family members returned from the temple and began knocking on the door, they pretended to be asleep. When the victim’s family finally entered the shanty, they were shocked to see Savitri’s dead body hanging from the fan. When they quizzed the two men about it, they said they had been sleeping soundly and didn’t realise she had hung herself.
“When we found the victim’s body on January 22, we had registered an accidental death report (ADR). But, when a team of doctors visited the spot and submitted the post-mortem report, we realised that the girl had been strangled to death,” said DCP (Zone XI). Balsing Rajput.
“The victim’s family members suspected that Varma had a hand in her death, but we didn’t have any concrete evidence until the post-mortem report was submitted. We then proceeded to arrest Varma on Friday.
He was in love with the deceased, and he and his cousin had been staying with her for three years,” said an officer from Malwani police station. “We have arrested Varma, but Satish is absconding.
They have been booked under various Sections of the IPC, including 302 (Murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 34 (Common intention). Varma was produced before the court yesterday and remanded in police custody till February 2,” the official added.