Mumbai: Man who threw best friend's daughter off 7th floor window practised occult
Exclusive: Top police officers say Colaba resident Anil Chugani, who threw his best friend's daughter off his seventh-floor window, indulged in occult practices
Anil Chugani, the Colaba resident who threw his childhood buddy's three-year-old daughter from his seventh floor apartment window on Saturday night, may have been an occult practitioner and could have planned to kill the child's twin sister too, top police officers told mid-day. Chugani even coolly called the police control room moments after committing the barbaric act and told them in a calm voice: "I have flung a three-year-old girl out of my window. Arrest me."
The police said Chugani, 43, locked himself inside his bedroom till the police arrived, fearing that neighbours who had gathered outside his house will lynch him. According to the police, at 6:45 pm on Saturday, Chugani went the house of his childhood friend Prem Hathiramani and sought permission to take the latter's three children – Jai, 6, and twins Shreya and Shanaya, 3. Once the children were at his Ashok Apartment home, along with the nanny, Chugani allegedly took Shanaya into the bedroom and locked it from inside. Soon, the Hathiramanis got a call saying Shanaya has fallen off the window and has been rushed to the hospital.
The car that 3-year-old Shanaya landed on after she was flung out of the 7th floor of Ashoka Apartment by Chugani. Pics/Ashish Raje
Prem rushed to his friend's place and found the bedroom locked from the inside and Mandal knocking at the door. After several failed attempts to break open the door, Prem rushed to St George hospital, where Shanaya had been taken. In the meantime, Chugani called the police control room and confessed to his crime. A Colaba policeman rushed to the spot and took Chugani into custody after he opened the door for them.
The police said Chugani had been in Morocco with his wife and in-laws for 14 years, and returned to India six months ago. He lived alone in the high-rise near Radio Club and spent a lot of time with the Hathiramanis and their children.
"The accused is suspected to be involved in occult practices," Vinay Choubey, Joint Commissioner (law and order) told mid-day. "We are investigating the black magic angle in the case." Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 1) Sangramsinh Nishandar, who is overseeing the probe, told mid-day that investigators have recovered a piece of paper from Chugani on which he had written, 'Kill the twins'. We are trying to find out if he wanted to kill Shreya too," he said.
Chugani is already lawyered up and his counsel told mid-day that the child may have fallen off accidentally. "My client is innocent and what happened is an accident," said Advocate Sunil Pandey. "She may even have fallen because of her own negligence. I requested the court to let the police conduct a thorough investigation, which will show that my client is innocent."
The Hathiramanis are yet to come to grips with the possibility that someone so close to them could do something so dastardly. "I have no words," Prem's father Lal Hathiramani told mid-day. "He was nothing less than family to us. I can never imagine he would do something so cruel. He had recently come to India from Morocco and used to constantly chase my son to look for a job for him. He always looked depressed to us. So we always took care of him. Our doors were always open for him and he used to be with us for at least three to four days in a week."
Chugani's constant presence around the children had already made some of Hathiramani's relatives uncomfortable even before the shocking incident. "Something about this man was fishy," said Manoj Ramchandani, an uncle to the twins. "Whenever we visited my sister's home, he used to be there but he never interacted with us. He wouldn't even look us in the eye and was always focused on the twins. I shared my concerns with my sister, but she told me he is Prem's childhood friend and there was no reason to suspect anything."
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