Mahim murder case: Kalina musician Bennett Rebello was assaulted by another man 3 months ago

Updated: 13 December, 2019 07:09 IST | Faizan Khan, Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Relatives say the twice-divorced Bennett Rebello had sheltered another woman before 'adopted daughter' Ria moved in

Bennett Rebello
Bennett Rebello

While the other pieces in the murder case of musician Bennett Rebello are falling in place, the one about Mahek — the woman who allegedly used to live with Rebello at his Vakola residence before Ria moved in — continues to elude the Crime Branch. "Mahek has been untraceable so far," a senior Crime Branch officer told mid-day.

The deceased's uncle, Steve Ferreira, told mid-day that Mahek's boyfriend badly assaulted Rebello around three months ago for giving her shelter at his Vakola house. According to Aradhya's statements to the police, Mahek was the one who introduced her to Rebello. She used to live with him at his Vakola residence before getting married. "Bennett used to live with his siblings and parents in Kalina village. He married a Catholic girl but got divorced around 10 years ago due to some personal issues. He then moved to his Vakola house," Ferreira said.

"He married another woman, a Catholic from North-East India. But she too divorced him. He then gave shelter to a young girl at his Vakola house and would often visit his father. Around two or three months ago, I was told that Mahek's boyfriend had badly assaulted Bennett and took the girl away with him," added Ferreira. Rebello was allegedly hacked to death by Aradhya alias Ria and her underage boyfriend on November 27. Aradhya told cops that she and her boyfriend had purchased gloves and air fresheners from different pharmacies from the locality.

First bag containing Bennett's body parts which washed ashore near Mahim. (Right) Second bag containing Bennett's right hand and left leg found in Mithi riverbed
First bag containing Bennett's body parts which washed ashore near Mahim. (Right) Second bag containing Bennett's right hand and left leg found in Mithi riverbed

mid-day again visited the spot on Thursday and found another pharmacy, RT's, a few metres away from Holy Cross Medical — which was visited by the couple — in Vakola. "I don't remember the date but in the last week of November, the girl (Aradhya) and a boy came to my shop late in the evening and asked for an air freshener. Also, the boy told her to purchase a few pairs of gloves. I showed them a pair and the boy asked her to buy a dozen. They paid the money and left," the pharmacist told mid-day.

"It is difficult to recall the entire discussion. But I do remember that the duo insisted on the best air freshener with a strong fragrance. I thought they need the hand gloves for medical purposes. Customers generally use these together if there is a bed-ridden person at home. Such products are needed for cleaning and sanitisation. I didn't realise they needed it to dispose of a body," the chemist said.

A Crime Branch official said, "They used the gloves to pack the body parts into several suitcases and bags before disposing of them. We are yet to recover the gloves." In addition, the Crime Branch sent DNA samples of Bennett's relatives to the Forensic Science Laboratories in Kalina to check if they match with the collected body parts.

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First Published: 13 December, 2019 06:58 IST

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