Two days after the murder of 78-year-old Manjula Vora in her home in Matunga, the murderer remains absconding and unidentified.
The police are scrutinising the CCTV camera network around the Matunga railway station as a sniffer dog followed the trail of the unknown assailant from Manjula’s flat to a junction less than 100 metre from the station.
On Monday evening, Manjula was found dead in her kitchen by her family doctor Dilip Shaha. Manjula was murdered with her throat slit, while her 85-year-old brother Ravilal Doshi was in the adjacent room.
Shaha went to Manjula’s flat and rang the doorbell but no one answered. He returned to the lobby to make an intercom call and a man claiming to be the new cook, received it.
“The accused spoke on the intercom. The sniffer dog came less than an hour after the body was found. He picked up a scent of the receiver of the intercom and led us to a point close to the railway station,” said an investigating officer.
Corroborating the lead given by the sniffer dog, the police have also found a CCTV footage showing the accused walking in the direction of the station. The footage accessed by The Indian Express showed the unknown man dressed in the same clothes as he entered the building.
The timestamp on the video was 7.08 pm on Monday and showed the man walking with a limp on his right leg.
“What is suspicious is that there is no urgency from the accused. He is seen walking without any hurry,” an officer observed. Investigators on Wednesday also ruled out robbery as a motive.
“The deceased, Manjula, had a habit of removing her gold earrings along with her prayer beads near the door. That remained untouched in the house. The accused was in the house for close to an hour and has not stolen or even displaced any item. The motive is still not clear,” a senior investigator said.
A team of Matunga police and the crime branch, probing into the murder, reached Udaipur on Wednesday morning in search of the former cook of the victim who left work four months ago. The police also said there was no sign of struggle or resistance on Manjula. Officers said cut in her throat was more than three inches deep.