Three men, two of whom worked as cooks for Ghatkopar-based builder Jayant Ajmera, were on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment for the robbery and murder of his wife Chetna Ajmera, 51. The offence took place in 2012 when the trio had fled with jewellery and cash worth Rs 1.4 crore.
First accused arrested in September 2012, others were accused in 2013
While the aide Mahendrasingh Rathod, also a cook by profession, was the first to be arrested in September that year, another accused Hemant Menariya was arrested in February 2013. The main accused Ashok Purohit, who was sacked by Ajmeras three months before the crime, was arrested a month later following a police hunt for him in five states.
After the murder, Purohit continuously shifted his location from Rajasthan to Delhi, Lucknow and Indore. He even made a forged ration card to evade arrest. A fourth accused was a goldsmith from Rajasthan, Shyamlal Soni, who had dealt with the stolen diamond jewellery. He was later discharged from the case.
Gruesome incident took place in May 2012
The gruesome incident took place on May 5, 2012 at Ghatkopar’s Vaishali Apartments at 60 feet road. In his 2015 testimony, Jayant said that he had left the house on the day of the incident at 1pm and returned at around 8pm. At that time, the lights were off and after switching them on, he discovered the body of his wife lying in a pool of blood and its stains were also there on the walls and sofa. He then called his driver and building secretary, after which the police were informed.
Woman was rushed to Rajwadi Hospital
The woman was rushed to the Rajawadi Hospital where she was declared brought dead. Later, Jayant noticed that his cupboard had been opened and subsequently realised that diamond and gold jewellery, a diamond wrist watch and cash had been robbed. He had identified the two cooks in court and told they had sacked Ashok due to his irregularity.
Two witnesses who had seen the three men leave the building on the day of the incident had also testified.