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TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2003 12:36:18 AM ]

 

MUMBAI: The city police seem to have hushed up investigations into two sensational murders in high-rise societies in Malabar Hill over the past three months.

 

The first case is the murder of 62-year-old NRI doctor Asha Goel at Sudhakar Cooperative Housing Society on Narayan Dhabolkar Marg on August 23.

 

The second is the killing of a domestic worker in the flat of film producer F.C. Mehra on September 16. Sources said that both murders seemed to be inside jobs. Zonal deputy police commissioner Naval Bajaj was unavailable for comment.

 

In the past, when TNN asked him about the progress of both cases, he was unable to provide details. "Please call up officers at the police stations,'' he stated.

 

Incidentally, Mr Bajaj was one of those considered for the post of deputy police commissioner (detection) in the elite crime branch.

 

In Ms Goel's murder, the police claimed to have solved the case by arresting the alleged killer, whose name was given as Pradeep Parab. However, the police have not pursued the case after that. An officer from the Malabar Hill police station told TNN, "Parab was an employee at a guesthouse in Bhuleshwar that was owned by Ms Goel's brother, Suresh Agarwal.''

 

But why would an employee of the victim's brother kill her? The officer claimed that Parab was given a lie-detector test in Ahmedabad, but no name has been given for the person who gave the contract for the killing. Sources said the police were not serious about cracking the case.

 

Ms Goel's son Sanjay, who has flown down to Mumbai from Canada, is keen on the case being solved. He has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakhs for anyone helping the police arrest the killer.

 

In the second case, Indira Durge (50), a domestic worker, was found dead in the kitchen of Mr Mehra's seventh-floor flat in Sharman building also at Narayan Dabholkar Marg. A bullet was shot into her neck. Preliminary investigations revealed that a lone assailant came to the flat and fired a round at her.

 

An officer in the crime branch said, "It is surprising that anybody would come to a seventh-floor flat and fire at an elderly housemaid. The assailant could be easily identified by building residents and watchmen. His escape could also become difficult.''

 

Police ruled out extortion as a motive as Mr Mehra had not received any such threats. Besides, gangsters usually do not fire at women, especially somebody who is not an extortion victim. There was also no forced entry into the flat and nothing was taken from the house.