On September 7, 2019, Colaba resident Anil Chugani threw his childhood buddy's three-year-old daughter Shanaya Hathiramani from his seventh-floor apartment window. Chugani even 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 would lynch him
The incident happened at 6:45 pm when Anil 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. When the children were at his apartment 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 had been taken to the hospital
The Hathiramanis' full-time maid, Kakoli Mandal said that at 6.45 pm they went to Anil Chugani's flat. Chugani took Shanaya with him and locked the door of his room from inside. When the maid asked him what is he doing with Shanaya, he did not reply. Mandal banged on the door for five minutes. Later she hear a loud thud and in few minutes the security guards and society members told her that one girl was thrown from the building which is when she immediately alerted Shanaya's mother
Shanaya's father Prem Hathiramani rushed to Anil Chugani's place and found the bedroom locked from the inside and housemaid 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, Anil 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.
Ashok Bhardwaj, who runs a paan shop near Ashok Apartment, was preparing paan for his customers when heard a loud thud on Saturday night. "Everyone froze for a few seconds and a customer quickly took the child to St George Hospital on his motorcycle," said Bhardwaj, who has been running the shop for 27 years
Shanaya Hathiramani had blood stains around the nostrils but other than a few abrasion marks around the chest and stomach, there was no other open injuries visible during physical examination. The surgeons found that the child had sustained multiple serious internal injuries to both sides of the chest and abdomen, and a fracture to the right thigh. Most injuries were minute and irregular, due to which they could not be counted or recorded. Besides viscera, the surgeons also collected samples to test for abuse. The surgeons suspect the child was thrown from a height of around 70 feet
The police said accused Anil 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. Police even said that Anil Chugani may have been an occult practitioner and could have planned to kill the child's twin sister too
The police recovered a piece of paper from Chugani on which he had written, 'Kill the twins'. Chugani had been jotting down minute observations about the twins since June. There are over a dozen pages in the diary where he has written things like, 'I met her', 'I saw her', 'I leave', etc and he continuously repeated 'Save your life, kill the twins, go to jail.' Investigators said the diary also contained superstitious notes like what will happen if mosquitoes or butterflies fly over his right or left shoulder, and how his day will go if he saw a lizard
During interrogation, Anil Chugani said that he killed the girl child to get rid of black magic by his former colleague Zubeda in Casablanca, Morocco and it was a supernatural power that ordered him to kill one of the twins. His diary also mentions exactly how he would kill the twins. An officer said, "He had written in his diary, 'When she comes, I will throw her out of the window'."
Shanaya's grandfather Lal Hathiramani told mid-day that he had been packing to fly to Bangkok with his wife to attend the wedding of a family member when the tragedy struck. "I rushed to the spot and saw my granddaughter Shanaya in a pool of blood. Shanaya's twin Shreya is too young to understand what happened to her. We always bought toys, clothes, etc in pairs for the twins. She [Shreya] keeps the toys and clothes belonging to Shanaya, telling us that she will use them when she comes. She is too young to understand her tragic death."
Anil Chugani told the police during interrogation that he is a victim of black magic and that he killed the girl to get rid of it. The Hathiramanis are yet to come to grips with the possibility that someone so close to them could do something so dastardly. Prem's father Lal Hathiramani told mid-day that Anil Chugani had recently come to India from Morocco and used to constantly chase his son for a job. Chugani always looked depressed, Hathiramani senior said
In picture: Nimus Creations, the clothing store owned by Shanaya's parents in Colaba
A condolence prayer meeting was held at the Baba Issardas Darbar at Pasta Lane 1 in Colaba in South Mumbai. A stream of visitors visited the Hathiramanis to pay their condolences. Residents of Ashok Apartment in Colaba say they will seek police help to keep Anil Chugani away from society
Shock gripped residents of a building in Colaba when a resident flung his close friend's three-year-old daughter out of the window of his apartment. As the police carried out their investigations, more sordid details emerged. Here's what we know so far about the Colaba occult murder case
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