In a short span of three weeks the Vile Parle police have cracked the most sensational murder and rape case of the 23 year-old Physiotherapist, who was found dead with burn injuries on her face at her Vile Parle residence on December 6. After a meticulous investigation it was found that the culprit was none other than her neighbor who fled the city soon after committing the gruesome crime.
Debashish Dhār, her neighbor and the accused in the rape and murder case was produced at the Andheri court and remanded to four days’ police custody. He was arrested in 24 Parganas district in West Bengal and brought to Mumbai on Jan 31st.
According to the police, Debashish Dhar, 27, did odd jobs to make a living and lived in a rented a room behind the chawl where the victim stayed with her parents. According to the police, Dhar managed to enter the victim’s room since she had not locked the door. He first strangulated her with a pair of jeans and then raped her. In order to suppress the evidence he set her body on fire by putting a pile of papers and clothes on her body.
Though Dhar was seen on CCTV as he entered the building, the image quality was poor and so he could not be identified. The footage however clearly showed that man in question, the intruder was around 30-35 years of age and about 5 feet 5 inches in height. Accordingly, the team had prepared a list of around 100 people from the neighborhood who matched the profile. Dhar too figured in the list.
A special search team was formed to look for the suspect. After a massive hunt that spanned over nearly two months of investigations, the team managed to locate him in a village on the border of Howrah and 24-Parganas districts.
After a lot of pressure, Dhar gave in and confessed. Dhar had set his eyes on the physiotherapist and was looking for an opportune time to target her. He had been tracking her movements. On the night of December 6, he saw the victim returning home late at night around 12:30 am. He followed her, but returned since she was in the company of a few friends. After some time when her friends had left he peeped through the window and saw her fast asleep in her room.
Since the door was not locked, he entered the room and tried to rape her but she resisted so he strangulated her with her jeans and then raped her. He tried to destroy the evidence and before leaving, he tried to set the body on fire by putting piles of papers and clothes on her body.
On the night of December 6, the victim had gone out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. She returned home early next morning at 12:30 am with a few friends. The friends left soon after and asked her to bolt the door from inside. It is suspected that the physiotherapist was careless. She went to asleep leaving the door open.
Police sources added that Dhār had been watching the doctor since a few days and that night when he peeped through the window, he found her fast asleep in her room. He got easy entry since the door was not locked. Dhār strangulated her with her jeans when she resisted his attempts and then raped her. While leaving, in a bid to destroy the evidence he tried to set her body on fire.
It was only when some neighbors saw smoke emanating from the doctor’s room that they alerted her parents who were sleeping downstairs.
Dhar was produced at the Andheri Metropolitan Court on Jan 31st and remanded to four days’ police custody.