A 30-year-old man was arrested early Tuesday morning hours after he allegedly murdered his pregnant sister-in-law. Salman Shaikh, an autorickshaw driver, was nabbed from Malad. Police said he had entered the home of his sister-in-law, Nikhat Shaikh, Monday midnight and stabbed her in the neck, chest and stomach 22 times with a knife, and fled. “The woman had tried to resist, and there are wounds on her hands. But she could do nothing as the accused had a 9-inch knife,” said Bharat Jadhav, senior inspector, Nallasopara police station.
According to the police, Nikhat was married to Salman’s younger brother and the couple has a two-year-old daughter. For the last six months, however, Nikhat had been staying separately in Dangewadi (Nallsopara west), close to her estranged husband’s home. “There were problems between the couple and the accused felt Nikhat did not treat her husband with enough respect,” said Jadhav. The police said Salman heard rumours that she allegedly had relationships with other men. “Neighbours and common friends would gossip about Nikhat and this angered the accused,” said Jadhav.
At Monday midnight, the police claimed, Salman went to her home with the intention of killing her. He was under the influence of alcohol and had also attacked a neighbour who tried to help Nikhat, said the police.
Jadhav added that Salman switched off his phone after committing the murder. The police initially looked for him in Mumbra after he made a phone call to a relative staying there. They also found CCTV footage from the Mumbra railway station of him boarding a train there, before finally tracing him to Malad. Salman, who is married and has three children, was produced in court, which sent him to police custody until October 24.