Mumbai Crime: Landlord opens his long-locked home, finds woman's body

Updated: 25 July, 2020 07:02 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Family continued to pay rent for several months after stashing daughter-in-law's body inside leased home and escaping to Haryana

The accused at the Palghar police station. Pic/Hanif Patel
The accused at the Palghar police station. Pic/Hanif Patel

A family of four has been arrested for allegedly killing the daughter-in-law, whose body was found in a rented flat in Boisar, Palghar district, by the landlord. The accused had fled to Haryana and had been paying rent, but when they stopped, the owner went to clean the flat before finding a new tenant and found the body.

Palghar police sources said the landlord found the body of the 20-year-old Bulbul Jha in a plastic drum on July 19, and immediately informed the cops. In the initial investigation, police discovered that the husband and the in-laws had killed her and fled to Haryana.

The accused have been identified as husband Deepak Jha, his father Pawan Jha, mother Bachchi Devi and sister Nitu Singh. Even after fleeing to Haryana, the family was paying the rent, but they stopped after the COVID-19 lockdown. When the owner did not receive the rent or heard from them despite several calls, he decided to rent it out to someone else and in the process discovered the body.

Sources said she was killed in February 2019 by her in-laws and her body was wrapped in plastic and stuffed in the drum that was stashed in the space for the tank over the bathroom. Sources said they had found only the skeletal remains of Bulbul, which was then sent for forensic examination.

“We traced the location of the mobile number, which the family was using to send the rent, to Haryana. We then brought them to Boisar and during the interrogation, they confessed to killing her,” said a police officer.

During the investigation, police learnt that Bulbul had filed a police complaint in the end of 2018, alleging that her in-laws were harassing and torturing her. They then started pressuring her to withdraw the case, but when she did not, they strangled her to death, said Sub Inspector Ashish Patil from Boisar police station.

A team, under the guidance of Palghar Superintendent of Police Dattatre Shinde and under the supervision of senior inspector Pradeep Kasbe, nabbed the family on July 23. Police on Friday produced the accused in court, which sent them to police custody. They have been booked under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (disappearance of evidence of offence) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.

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First Published: 25 July, 2020 06:59 IST

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