Police sources tell mid-day that intent was to steal undeclared valuables from elderly couple; a distant family member nabbed, others may come under scanner
Surekha Agrawal, her husband Madanmohan along with their family members in April last year
The Tardeo police, investigating the Sunday morning robbery and murder, have nabbed a relative of the victims—a cousin of their’ elder daughter-in-law. Sumit Tatwal, the cousin, has emerged as the key conspirator and the intention was to rob the couple of unbilled jewellery, according to sources. With his arrest, involvement of other family members may also come under scanner, they added.
Three masked men barged into the third-floor flat of the couple in Yusuf Manzil society at Tardeo, in Mumbai Central West, around 7 am on Sunday. Madanmohan Agarwal, 75, was heading out for his morning walk when he found the men standing at his door.
The accused were standing outside when Madanmohan Agrawal opened the door (yellow) to go on his morning walk
They pushed him inside, beat them up, tied their hands and legs with rope and wrapped their entire faces with cello tape, leaving them gasping for air, according to cops. Madanmohan’s 69-year-old wife, Surekha Agarwal, died of suffocation, while his jogger friends managed to save him in time.
For unbilled jewellery
The Tardeo police said two of the three robbers have been detained in Rajasthan. All three robbers are residents of Rajasthan, they added.
The trio looted the Agrawals, whose flat is on the third floor of Yusuf Manzil, in Tardeo, on Sunday. Pics/Shadab Khan
During the investigation, police learnt about the involvement of Tatwal, 37. Prima facie, the motive appears to be unbilled jewellery in possession of the couple, at their flat, the sources said.
According to police sources, Tatwal, a resident of Malad, worked at the Prabhadevi branch of the imitation jewellery store owned by Madanmohan Agarwal. He knew about the unbilled jewellery because of his employment for the past few months, they added.
Surekha Agrawal, the deceased
“The investigation has revealed that the accused were hired by Tatwal. The trio had transferred some money to Tatwal’s bank account after robbing the elderly couple,” an officer privy to the investigation told mid-day.
To record statements
Now, the police will record the statement of close family members of the Agarwals to check whether anyone else was involved in the crime, the sources said. The chain of event leading to the robbery and the death of Surekha is yet to be established, they added.
Two of the three accused, carrying stolen items, flee the society on Sunday
“We have secured eight days of Tatwal’s custody from the court and further investigation is underway,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 03) Akbar Pathan said.
Worth of loot
During the course of investigation, we have found that estimated value of the robbed valuables is most likely Rs 1 crore, sources said. Madanmohan, after the incident, had told the police that the accused took two gold chains, a wrist watch and Rs 1,500 in cash off of him and his wife.
Yusuf Manzil, the society where the robbery happened on Sunday morning, in Tradeo. Pic/Shadab Khan
“The complainant, Madanmohan, is busy with the last rites of his wife. He has said that he will share the details of jewellery or other valuables stolen by the robbers from their locker,” an officer from Tardeo police station said.
Meanwhile, police said a search is underway to find the third robber. The three robbers were captured in the CCTV cameras of the society entering and fleeing the house. They were wearing caps and carrying bags with stolen gold, cash and other valuables.
Time on Sunday robbers barged into couple’s flat
Police custody of Sumit Tatwal, the relative
Likely amount of the robbed valuables, as per cops