The murder of police constable Smita Patil, who was found killed in her residence in the Azad Maidan police quarters on Wednesday evening, took place even while two Crime Branch personnel were sitting in a room, five doors away on the same floor.
Patil, who was posted with the Special Branch of the Mumbai Police, was found with her throat slit in her flat on the third floor of the B-Wing of the Azad Maidan police quarters, at around 7 pm on Wednesday. The Azad Maidan police arrested her husband Deepak for the murder Thursday morning, after he allegedly confessed to have killed her.
Police sources have confirmed to The Indian Express that the Crime Intelligence Unit had recently set up a small unit, with two personnel to man it, on the same floor, five doors away from the Patil residence. “The personnel were in the room on Wednesday morning when the murder occurred,” said a source.
Deepak, an LIC employee, allegedly confessed to have killed Smita at around 10:30 am on Wednesday. He has allegedly told his interrogators that he was fed up of their constant conflict over money.
“Deepak has said that Smita would never give any part of her salary for household expenses. Instead she would give a lot of money to her mother and sister. Another reason for embitterment between the couple was that all household works, including taking care of their nine-year-old son, had fallen on him. She had also been constantly asking him to buy a new house as she did not want to stay in the police quarters, and was refusing to stay in the LIC quarters,” said DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni.
“Smita was combing her hair while looking in the mirror, and when she turned after combing her hair, Deepak slashed her throat with a kitchen knife. After she fell down on the floor bleeding heavily, Deepak stepped over her, washed the knife in the kitchen and returned it to its proper place. He then left for work, deliberately leaving the door unlocked, hoping someone would discover the murder,” said the police.
However, Deepak was surprised when the door was still shut when he returned in the evening. He then made a show of discovering the body, the police said. “Smita’s sister had tried reaching her and when there was no response, she had called up Deepak, who told her that she had left for work in front of him. When we confronted Deepak, he became disoriented,” another officer said. When asked about the murder five doors away, JCP (Crime) Atulchandra Kulkarni said, “We are investigating the case independently and all aspects will be examined.”
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