Driver kills Oshiwara woman, burns flat

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 12 April 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A man in his 20s, who used to work as a driver, was arrested on Thursday for strangling an Oshiwara homemaker and stealing her gold ornaments worth Rs 9 lakh. The accused, Pravin Kajave, even set fire to the flat in a bid to mislead cops that it was an accident. Police are on the lookout for his accomplice, who is on the run. Some ornaments of the deceased have been recovered.

On Wednesday night, residents of Green Park housing society called the police after they noticed smoke emanating from a fifth floor flat. The police found a woman's body in the flat. The police said the woman was strangled and that the killer had tried to burn the house in an attempt to destroy evidence.

On questioning Sunil Darekar, 50, the husband of the deceased Sushma, 40, the police learnt that the ornaments of the deceased had gone missing. Darekar and an employee Prabhakar Soban, 33, were in Pune on the day of the incident. Sushma considered Soban as her brother and he lived with her in the flat. Kajave, who was Darekar's driver, claimed that he was in Bandra on Wednesday evening.

Darekar and Soban had spoken to Sushma over the phone from Pune. Soban told the police that he called her around 5pm and she told him there was a guest at home. The police believe that the incident took place just after Soban's call.

On Wednesday evening, the building residents noticed smoke in the apartment but were unable to trace the source. "After a couple of hours, we realized that it was coming from Darekar's fifth floor flat. All windows of the flat were closed and smoke was emanating from the house. We informed the police and fire brigade," said a building resident.

When the police broke the door open and entered inside, the 1 BHK flat was full of smoke. They spotted Sushma lying outside the bedroom. She had not suffered any burns. But the bedroom was completely burnt. Sushma was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. Her autopsy reported stated that she was strangled.

Cops called Darekar, who lives with his first wife and two kids at Vakola and runs a hoarding contract business, for questioning. Sushma used to work in Darekar's office a long time ago. Since the past 10 years, they were living together, claiming they were married.

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