Mumbai: Two days after a teen was brutally murdered by her friends at a new year party in Khar, the police are probing the drugs angle in the case. Surprisingly, the victim, Jhanvi Kukreja, 19, was always guiding and helping the prime suspect and best friend, Diya Padalkar, 18, and the latter had dragged the victim to the party. Moreover, the other parents of the party attendees have questioned the injuries on 22-year-old Shree Jogdhankar's body and the police too have consulted experts to ascertain the cause.
A senior police officer said on condition of anonymity that the circumstantial evidence collected from the spot had revealed that Shree had hit Jhanvi on the second floor of the eight-storied Bhagwati Heights building on Khar 14th Road around 1.30 am, after which the latter sustained fatal injuries. "While Jhanvi and Shree were not a couple, they were more than close friends and the girl was very possessive about him. We suspect that Jhanvi saw Shree flirting with Diya, which she didn't like. Evidence points at Jhanvi being beaten up on the second floor and then was either dragged by the hair from the second floor to the ground floor or was pushed down," the officer added.
Police sources said that while alcoholic drinks were consumed at the party organized to ring in the new year, they are also ascertaining if drugs were consumed as well. The police have roped in forensic experts to flesh out this angle. The body was discovered at around 2am, when one of tenants of the building stepped out with her dog, only to find Jhanvi lying in a pool of blood.
After the incident came to light, Shree had left the spot and went to Sion Hospital, while Diya called her father and went to a private hospital to get herself treated for facial injury. "Even after Jhanvi was killed around 2am, we were informed about the 'accident' by Diya's father, who asked my husband to rush to Khar police station. It was only when my husband reached the police station that he learned about our daughter's death," said Jhanvi's mother, Nidhi. She also found a letter penned by Diya, addressed to Jhanvi, in which the former had allegedly used foul language.
While speaking to The Free Press Journal, Nidhi said that the 19-year-old was not even going to the party as it was her father's birthday, but went anyway after Diya and Shree convinced her. "Shree and Diya were having a party at the latter's house, which was briefly attended by Jhanvi. At around 12.15am on January 1, Diya and Shree wished Jhanvi's father, ate the cake and left for the party at a friend's house with my daughter, along with three other girls from the building," added Nidhi Kukreja.
Minutes before the incident took place, Jhanvi had made two phone calls to her friends, wherein she was crying and telling them that Diya and Shree were together and the former was going to hurt herself. Jhanvi said that she had to find Diya and stop her from doing so, revealed the mother. One of the girls, who spoke to Jhanvi on phone call, has recorded her statement with the Khar police.
Jhanvi, a second year student of human psychology, has been described as a bright, compassionate and a socially responsible teen, who was all set to fly to Australia to pursue her further studies. Diya, her best friend and next door neighbour, however, was being groomed and guided by Jhanvi to concentrate on studies and the two had even started a baking venture together, said the family. While Diya spent most of her time in Jhanvi's house, she was more into boys and parties, revealed a source.
The parents of the other attendees in the party claimed that Shree was not even invited and had arrived with Jhanvi and Diya, and knew nobody else. They claimed that Shree had been framed in the crime. Meanwhile, the police are awaiting Jhanvi's postmortem report to ascertain if she was sexually assaulted before the murder.