Mumbai crime: Retired collector, son-in-law booked for molesting 58-yr-old

The accused, a former Thane collector and his son-in-law allegedly pushed the elderly woman to the ground and grabbed her cash and a demand draft amounting to Rs 59 lakh

A 58-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted and molested by a retired collector and his son-in-law in broad daylight over a property dispute. They also snatched her cash and a demand draft amounting to Rs 59 lakh in total.

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The 58-year-old woman and her daughter (right) were locked in a property dispute. The mother was on her way home to fetch her son-in-law to read a document when the accused attacked her
The 58-year-old woman and her daughter (right) were locked in a property dispute. The mother was on her way home to fetch her son-in-law to read a document when the accused attacked her

An FIR was registered against the former Thane collector Devji Gode (57) and his son-in-law Dr Vinod Sarukte (38) at the Versova police station. The survivor said she and her daughter were in the process of buying a flat near Lokhandwala Circle in Andheri (W) from Sarukte. They had agreed on a price of Rs 1.6 crore in December, and the victim’s daughter had paid around Rs 59 lakh. The remaining amount was to be paid at the time of possession.

However, Sarukte suddenly raised the price to Rs 2 crore, and the victim’s daughter said she was no longer interested. When they asked for the Rs 59 lakh to be returned, the accused called the victim and her daughter to the society office at the New MHADA development near Lokhandwala Circle on Saturday. There, the accused asked them to sign a receipt and then handed over Rs 1.5 lakh in cash and the remaining amount in a DD.

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But when the accused asked the women to sign a Memorandum of Understanding cancelling the flat sale, the 58-year-old said she would get her son-in-law to read to the document.

Saying this, she left the office with the money. No sooner had she reached the society gate than the accused attacked her. They pushed her to the ground and fled with the cash and DD.

The woman alleged that she went to the police station straight after the incident, but the police refused to file a complaint until social workers intervened.

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Senior Police Inspector K V Kale, from Versova police station, said, “We have registered the FIR under Sections 354, 509, 506, 323 and 34 of the IPC. We are going through CCTV footage from the crime spot, and after verifying it, action will be taken as per law. No arrests have been made so far.”

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