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Suspect dies leaving cops baffled


Express News Service

Mumbai, November 5: THEY had their suspect. And a confession naming the man who was apparently behind it all. Yet, the Malabar Hill police failed to crack the murder case-simply because they failed to interrogate or detain the alleged main conspirator before he died of natural causes.


He died on Tuesday, leaving the police looking extremely foolish.


Asha Goel (61), a Canadian resident, was found murdered with multiple stab wounds, in a Malabar Hill flat on August 23. Goel was in Mumbai to visit her ailing brother, Sureshchandra Agarwal (80).


During the investigation, police discovered that Goel had received calls from a particular phone number on the day she was murdered.


They traced the numbers to Little Lily Guest House, near Musafirkhana at Crawford Market, which is owned by Agarwal.


The register maintained by the watchmen also showed that Agarwal and Pradeep Parab, the guest house manager and alleged killer, were the last visitors Goel received.


They had visited her in her flat in Sudhakar Cooperative Society on August 22.


This prompted the Malabar Hill police to arrest Parab alias Jadia. Parab confessed that he had killed Goel on Agarwal's instructions. Despite the confession, police did not arrest Agarwal. They summoned him to the police station for interrogation, but Agarwal never turned up.


Agarwal died on Tuesday, of natural causes. Senior Inspector M U Patil says they did not force Agarwal to come to the police station because of his deteriorating health.


Parab, meanwhile, has retracted his statement. He has undergone a lie detector test and the police are awaiting the results.


Police believe that Goel was murdered over a property dispute with her brothers including Agarwal.


On Wednesday, Goel's son, Sanjay, held a press conference to announce a Rs 10 lakh reward for information on the case.