Mumbai crime: City's unsolved murder mysteries
With the recent Esther Anuhya murder giving the police nightmares, Saurabh Vaktania looks back at some other cases where cops are still struggling to nab the criminals
Thrown off a lorry
On February 27, 2013, truck cleaner Rakesh Kevat (27) was murdered by fellow cleaner Balram Singh alias Thakur, who is a resident of Satna in Madhya Pradesh. The two had a fight due to an old feud and Kevat was pushed off the top of the lorry cabin. He succumbed to his injuries.
Police Station: Kalachowkie
Police went to the native place of the accused but couldn’t trace him.
Senior police inspector Bhausaheb Gite said, “In this case the accused has been identified. We haven’t been able to arrest him since he doesn’t use a cell phone and it’s difficult to trace him. However, our informers and team are trying to follow him. Hopefully we will arrest him soon.”
Head and limbs chopped off
On May 7, 2013, an unidentified male body was found near Wadi Bunder yard. The corpse was without a head and limbs. Medical reports identified cause of death as fractured ribs and severing of the head and limbs.
Police Station: Dongri
Cops found a green curtain near the murder spot; they also noticed white bleaching powder used for cleaning purposes. BVG India is responsible for cleaning of railway coaches in car sheds. Officials enquired in railway yard offices and godowns, interrogated employees of BVG India, and checked missing persons records in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane. Simultaneously, Bhusaval railway police found a head. A DNA test revealed it wasn’t the same body.
Inspector Hemant Bawdhankar, the investigating officer, said, “We have no clue in the case. We even went to Katni based on one folder found from the spot.”
Stabbed with a pair of scissors
On May 22 2013, 45-year-old Deepak Kadam, a garments trader was found lying in a pool of blood in the bathroom of house number 314, Darshan building in Elphinstone.
Police Station: N M Joshi Marg
A bloodstained scissor and clothes soaked in blood were found. Call details records (CDR) of the victim showed calls made to Javed Sheikh, a tailor known to Kadam. Interrogation revealed he had called the trader 3-4 times to ask for an employable help in his shop. CCTV footage captured a person moving downstairs suspiciously. Police are monitoring one of the residents of the building, who, they suspect, is hiding information. Fashion designers, tailors and other skilled workers from Gamdevi, Walkeshwar and Babulnath were interrogated, but nothing was found.
PI Sudhakar Ghagare said, “We investigated all possible places and questioned all people. We went through CDR but couldn’t find a clue or motive.”
Head smashed with a stone
On October 10, an unidentified man was found dead in the mangroves along Sion-Panvel highway near Tata Power House, Mankhurd. Medical reports said the victim was assaulted with a stone, causing injuries on his head, face, and forehead.
Police Station: Mankhurd
Police tried identifying the victim with the help of the tailor’s mark on his shirt. The tailor was traced but failed to throw light on the victim’s identity. An artificial tooth was also found. Tests at KEM Hospital revealed it had been manufactured by a non-professional. The manufacturer couldn’t be traced. A helmet, slippers, mud etc have been sent for analysis. Fingerprints too have been taken but there are no leads yet.
PI Shankarsingh Rajput said, “Bakri Eid fell just days before the murder. We suspect someone or the victim may have been selling goats. There might have been arguments over money, which led to the murder. We have interrogated 600 people.”
Senior Citizen murdered
On December 1 2013, 62-year-old Pratima Chavan was found dead in her apartment at Ashtavinayak building in Tilak Nagar. She lived alone, after her husband’s death 10 years ago, owing to a heart attack. The body was found by her daughter-in-law Suvarna.
Police Station: Tilak Nagar
Medical reports suggested the cause of death as strangulation with smothering. Suvarna was questioned and articles at the crime scene were seized. A red cloth was found on the victim’s face.
Inspector Laxman Bhalerao said, “Our investigation is on the right track. We are hopeful to solve the case soon. I cannot divulge further details in the case.”
Head smashed with concrete block
Sunil Mhatre (45) was found dead at Amar Mahal junction. A block of cement was found beside him.
Police Station: Chembur
No clue was found at the crime scene.
Inspector Bhalerao refused to divulge details in the case, and hoped to nab the killer soon.
Statistics revealed that Mumbai Police have been gradually improving in detecting murder cases. 90% of the murder cases were solved last year, according to the statistics (See table for details). “It is the most inhuman crime in society and all cases are solved on the basis of priority. It is good news that the Mumbai police has scored well in detection of such cases,” said a police officer.