Ghatkopar murder case: Accused slept with mother's body still inside house

Updated: Jan 10, 2020, 19:39 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Son strangulated woman last month after an argument and cut her body into pieces before disposing of them

The accused, Mohammed Shafi Sohail Shaikh. (Right) The victim and Sohail's mother, Badrunissa Mohammed Shafi Sheikh. Pic/Shirish Vaktania
The accused, Mohammed Shafi Sohail Shaikh. (Right) The victim and Sohail's mother, Badrunissa Mohammed Shafi Sheikh. Pic/Shirish Vaktania

Mohammed Shafi Sohail Shaikh, the 33-year-old accused of murdering his mother on December 28 at their Ghatkopar residence, had allegedly visited a dargah immediately after the crime to seek forgiveness, police interrogation of the accused revealed. He also allegedly turned down the AC temperature at their home and slept with his mother's dead body still at home the next day. According to the police, Shaikh then sold his mother's jewellery and brought back his Scooty and shared some money with his girlfriend to celebrate New Year.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) is probing the murder case of the mutilated dead body found near ST Workshop, Ghatkopar West last month. The cops had found the victim's chopped legs the next day and her head on January 4 near Kurla railway station. A case was registered against an unknown person under IPC section 302 (murder) and 201 (disappearance of evidence).

During investigation, the police screened CCTV footage of cameras around the place where the dead body was found. "There were 150 to 200 vehicles that had passed across the road from the night of the crime till the time the body was found. We zeroed in on one person who was carrying heavy stuff on his Scooty but the image was blurred and identifying the vehicle or the rider was next to impossible," an officer from the SIT told mid-day.

When tracked, the Scooty seemed to have come from Mahajan Wadi in Kurla West where the police conducted a thorough inquiry. That's when they were told that a woman named Badrunnisa Mohammed Shafi Sheikh, 53, had been missing for a few days. Upon reaching her residence and inquiring with her son Sohail, "he said she had gone to Delhi and will be back in few days," a police officer said.

Sequence of the crime
Following consistent questioning, Sohail confessed to the crime. He had been working in Kuwait until 2018 when he returned and would have regular arguments with his mother over his lack of a job and consistent drinking. Badrunnisa was a beautician and would also run a tiffin service in the neighborhood.

On the evening of December 28, Badrunnisa was strangulated by Sohail, while she was working in the kitchen following an argument with the son. After she was dead, he immediately locked their home and rushed to the nearby Durgah temple.

"Upon his return, Shaikh removed a golden bangle from his mother's hand and sold it to a nearby jewellery shop and brought back his mortgaged Scooty from a nearby garage. He came home heavily drunk the next night (Dec 29) and slept away even as his mother's dead body was still lying at home," the officer added.

He had set the AC inside his house to the minimum temperature to slow down the decomposition of the body. "The next evening, he began chopping the body parts inside the bathroom, washed them and wrapped each part in separate bedsheets. He ventured out on the night of December 29 to dispose of the dead body," the officer narrated.

He then went to his girlfriend's place in Chembur and handed her R25,000 out of the R40,000 he had got from selling the bangles.

"We have arrested the accused and he will be produced in court on Saturday. We are investigating whether anyone else was involved in the crime, although it doesn't seem so prima facie," DCP (Zone 7) Akhilesh Kumar Singh told mid-day.

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