Mumbai: Little did Koparkhairane resident Bhagyashree Sonawane know that a simple request to her roommate to accompany her grandmother to the bank to collect cash would cost the latter's life. Bhagyashree's grandmother Mirabai Sitaram Sonawane had sold her property in Kurla and needed to collect an initial payment from a bank in Bandra. She asked her granddaughter to accompany her, but Bhagyashree requested her roommate Nasreen alias Annu Iqbal Shaikh (26) to escort her grandmother to collect the cash. Nasreen willingly agreed.
After Mirabai withdrew the money from the bank, Nasreen suggested that she accompany her to a colony near a lake in Koparkhairane to see some flats that she could purchase from the money she received by selling her property in Kurla. Once the duo reached the spot, Nasreen strangulated Mirabai, smashed her head and fled with her cash and jewellery.
The Koparkhairane police arrested Nasreen, a call centre employee for allegedly murdering a senior citizen and fleeing with her cash and jewellery. According to investigating officials, the accused carried out the heinous act as she was in desperate need of money.
The incident came to light on September 18, when walkers found a body of a 65-year-old woman near the Koparkhairane lake in Sector 20. "At first, we could not identify the dead body. Hence we informed all other police stations and also displayed posters of the woman hoping that someone would provide some information," said Senior Inspector Mukund Hatote from Koparkhairane police station.
Later, the cops received a call from a person claiming to know the identity of the person. "The man claimed that the deceased was his neighbour. The victim was later identified as Mirabai Sitaram Sonawane and further investigations revealed that she had recently sold her house in Kurla."
"Sonawane had just sold her house and was to get an initial amount of Rs 1.35 lakh that she needed to withdraw from a bank in Bandra. Her granddaughter Bhagyashree asked her roommate Nasreen to accompany her grandmother," added Hatote.
Greed got the better of Nasreen, and she hatched a plan to kill Mirabai and steal her money. She escorted Mirabai to a secluded spot in Kopar-khairane and murdered her.
"Taking advantage of being in a secluded spot at night, Nasreen strangulated Sonawane with a dupatta and later smashed her head and fled with Sonawane's money and jewellery," said Datta Shinde, deputy commissioner of police (Crime), Navi Mumbai.
Nasreen then informed Bhagyashree that her grandmother was going to stay in Kurla and would return home a day later and that she was going out for two days for official work. Later the cops learnt that since the murder of Sonawane, Nasreen had gone missing and started a search for her.
"We got a tip-off that she was near DY Patil stadium in Nerul and picked her up. Nasreen is a divorcee and has two daughters," said Hatote. The police added that they suspect the involvement of other people in the murder and are investigating further. Nasreen has been remanded to police custody till December 3.