Mumbai: The Andheri police on Thursday arrested a 41-year-old woman for allegedly murdering her mentally challenged daughter and trying to pass it off as death by suicide. The police said she was no longer able to care for her daughter.
The police said that the control room got a call at around 3.30 pm on Wednesday, informing them about a suicide at Parshiwada, Sahar Road. The information was relayed to the Andheri police, and a team was rushed to the spot to conduct enquiries. The police found the victim, Vaishnavi Patyane, 19, lying lifeless on the floor, with her mother Shraddha, 41, sitting by her side.
Vaishnavi was rushed to Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle, where she was declared dead before admission. An accidental death report was registered at the time, but the police became suspicious when they realised that the body was lying on the floor, instead of being in the hanging position.
Dr Maheshwar Reddy, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone X, said, “During the inquest, we observed circular ligature marks around the victim’s neck, which was another indication of foul play. Further, doctors at the hospital informed us that, based on their experience, the possibility of a mentally challenged girl hanging herself was an extremely low one.”
The police then made enquiries with Vaishnavi’s parents and siblings and found that Shraddha was the only one with her in the house when she died. She was then questioned at length about the sequence of events, and under persistent questioning, she began faltering. Finally, after prolonged grilling, Shraddha allegedly broke down and confessed, officers said.
“Shraddha told us that Vaishnavi had been a special child since birth and that she was no longer able to care for her despite her best efforts. Hence, Shraddha strangled Vaishnavi with a strip of cloth when they were both alone in the house and then called the police control room to pass it off as a suicide,” an officer with the Andheri police station said.