Cops suspect suicide pact in deaths of maid, kinhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/cops-suspect-suicide-pact-in-deaths-of-maid-kin/

Cops suspect suicide pact in deaths of maid, kin

25-year-old domestic help Bharti Pal, has accused her employer for sexual harassment in her suicide note.

The Oshiwara police investigating the four simultaneous suicides in two flats in Lokhandwala Complex on February 20 have discovered that the four victims appear to have coordinated their suicides.

The 25-year-old domestic help Bharti Pal, who in her suicide note accused her employer Tinku Singh of sexual harassment, had a three-minute telephone conversation minutes before she hung herself.

Bharti’s body was found with a Nokia phone hanging in a pouch around her neck, one earphone still in her right ear. The others who ended their lives that day were her brother Somnath, her mother Shikha, and Manoj Patel, Shikha’s employer and lover.

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Police said that the post mortem reports have confirmed beyond a doubt that the four suicides happened around the same time, 4:30 pm. Further, Bharti and Patel’s call records have shown that the last call she made was to the phone of her mother’s employer.

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According to the Oshiwara police, Bharti’s call records as well as Patel’s show that their last call was a three-minute conversation with each other.

“We found Bharti’s mobile phone hanging around her neck with the earphone in her ear. However Patel’s phone was found on the kitchen platform near Shikha’s hanging body. The memory card of the phone was kept nearby with a chit under it labelled videos,” said an officer at the Oshiwara police station.

The police have not been able to crack the password-locked phone found around Bharti’s neck. Also, Patel’s phone was found to have been formatted — the only evidence on it was the memory card with seven videos and a few photos of Tinku Singh and his family.
In addition to Bharti’s suicide note, the four had left suicide videos of about a minute each.

The police are at present looking for Shikha’s relatives to claim their bodies that are still lying in the Cooper Hospital mortuary. “With the entire city talking about the suicides it is not possible that Shikha’s sister and brother are not aware of the deaths of the three but no one has come forward yet,” said the officer.

Meanwhile, Tinku Singh who has been charged with rape and abetment to suicide is lodged at Arthur Road jail.

megha.sood@expressindia.com