Mumbai crime: Cops crack murder case with medical bill as only clue

Oct 06, 2014, 07:53 IST | Shiva Devnath

Born out of wedlock, a newborn girl had been killed by her grandmother and aunt, and thrown into a nullah near Sahar international airport; smart cops solve case in 24 hours

A medical receipt and some good detective work helped the Sahar police crack the case of the gruesome murder of a newborn baby girl by her mother, maternal grandmother and aunt. The police solved the case within 24 hours and arrested the trio.

The body was found in this nullah near Sahar International Airport
The body was found in this nullah near Sahar International Airport

The murder came to light on Saturday, when some residents alerted the police about the body of a baby floating in a nullah at Ruby Koch Road, near Sahar International Airport. The police reached the spot and called in fire brigade officials to help fish out the body.

Single piece of evidence
“We found that the body was of a newborn baby girl. It was wrapped in a plastic bag. There was a handkerchief around the baby’s neck and injury marks on her head and left eye. All this indicated that she had been strangulated to death and then thrown into the nullah,” said Ravindra Patil, senior police inspector, Sahar police station.

Desperate for clues, the police conducted a panchnama and found a medical bill. “During the panchnama, we found a bill of L M T College and Hospital Consumer Co-Operative Society Limited. We contacted the owner of the medical store, which is located near Sion hospital, and learnt that the prescription was written by a doctor in the hospital.”

Inquiries at the hospital revealed that the woman for whom the prescription was written out had delivered a baby girl there a few days ago. The police went to the Chandivli address given by the woman to the hospital, but realised that the name and room number given by her were fake.

They then asked around, and neighbours told them about one Bhagyashree Mandavkar (22), who had seemed to be in the late stages of pregnancy until a few days ago, but did not any more, without any sign of a baby in the house.

Police officials reached Bhagyashree’s house, where she lived with her sister younger sister Archana (20) and mother Suchita (47). The trio, who work as domestic help, denied having any knowledge of the baby.

“We clicked photographs of the three women and sent it to the doctor at Sion Hospital to confirm whether any of them were involved in the crime. The doctor got in touch with us immediately and told us that Bhagyashree had delivered a baby girl at the hospital a few days ago,” said a senior Sahar police official.

When the police interrogated the women again, they confessed to murdering the seven-day-old baby. “The woman who delivered the baby is not married and had become pregnant because she was in a physical relationship with her neighbour, who is a vegetable vendor.

Her mother and sister were against her having the baby. They left her at their Chandivli home, took an auto, killed the baby on the way, and threw her body into the nullah,” said Inspector Raghunath Dalvi of Sahar police station.

“If we had not found the receipt, it would not have been possible to crack the case because Bhagyashree had been admitted to the hospital under a fake name and with a bogus address,” he added. All three women were arrested, produced in holiday court and remanded in police custody yesterday.

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