A 96-year-old retired postman was found strangulated, with his hands tied to his bed, at his home in Nagpada early Saturday morning, police said, adding that the burglars fled with five cellphones after failing to open a drawer containing Rs 6 lakh.
The deceased, Abdul Hameed Jan Mohmmad Ansari, lived alone on the second floor of Yakub Mansion in Nagpada’s 2nd Ghelabai Street. His family, comprising four sons, three daughters and several grandchildren, live nearby.
According to the police, the victim’s son-in-law Wasif Ansari had gone to the house to deliver breakfast at 8.30 am when he found him tied to his bed. “The door of his home was open and Wasif saw Ansari was tied and not breathing. He alerted neighbours and contacted his family. Someone then called the police control room,” said Vinayak Deshmukh, deputy commissioner of police (zone III). Deshmukh said
Ansari’s body had been sent to J J Hospital for post-mortem examination. The police believe the killers were known to Ansari.
“Ansari would never open the door for someone he did not know. It appears the killers were known to him because there is no sign of forced entry. They tried to force open the drawer,” he said.
The cash in the drawer was of Ansari’s savings and pension that he received since retirement, the police said.
Ansari’s oldest son, Mehmood Parvez, a retired school principal, said his father was physically fit and self-dependent in spite of his age.
“He would walk down to Sankli Street each morning to have breakfast with his friends. We would send lunch and dinner to him each day.
He would sleep at 8.30 pm and would not allow us to enter his home after 9 pm. On Friday night, he called to say he wanted breakfast the next morning,” he said.
While the police believe the murder occurred some time between Friday night and Saturday morning, Ansari’s family expresses suspicion on early morning visitors. “He would wake up at 5 am, fill up water and then make tea at 7 am. We could see that he had boiled water and was waiting for the milkman. It is then that someone came to his door,” Parvez said.
An FIR has been registered against unidentified individuals at Nagpada police station for murder, robbery and other charges.
“It seems Ansari would often tell his friends that he had his life savings stored in his drawer. We are speaking to neighbours. The building does not have CCTV cameras. The street remains lively all night as there are many shops selling bags. We are also investigating people close to Ansari who may have a motive to kill him,” Deshmukh said.