The three persons arrested for killing a woman and her grandchildren in Malvani last week had only suspected that she was wealthy but had no idea how much money she had at home. A search of the home later revealed that the cupboard, which the accused had failed to break open, contained a paltry sum.
The accused, Anam Shaikh (25), her husband Salman Akbar (26) and her friend Salman Afzal (22) were held at Valsad railway station on Saturday, before they could allegedly flee to Uttar Pradesh where they hail from.
The police said on June 23 midnight, the trio visited Babli Shaw’s home in Malvani’s Old Collector Compound. Shaikh, who the police claim is a prostitute and often rented one of the two rooms above Shaw’s house, had allegedly introduced the two men as her customers. The police claimed that the accused waited upstairs for Shaw and her grandchildren to go to sleep.
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“We suspect that the men were drunk at the time of committing the murders. We found beer bottles in the room they were waiting in,” said an officer with the Malvani police station.
The two men first stabbed Shaw to death and then attacked the children. However, Afzal injured his hand, attempting to prevent Akbar from stabbing the children, the police said.
The officer said, “They had brought along a paver block to open the cupboard, but decided it would make a lot of noise. With the cupboard not opening and Afzal injured, the accused fled.”
The police said the accused left Shaw’s gold bangles and ear rings untouched. “They are not professional killers and had come with no preparation. They panicked when Afzal was hurt and decided to run. They were aware that Shaw had made lakhs of rupees, helping neighbours purchase homes but did not know exactly how much money was kept at home. When we opened the cupboard, there was less than Rs 5,000 in it,” an officer said.