Mumbai

Anklet found on murdered woman puts her killer in handcuffs

Police officials with the murder accused, who turned out to be the woman’s separated husband.

Police officials with the murder accused, who turned out to be the woman’s separated husband.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Engraving on jewellery leads police from railway tracks near Dombivli to village in Tamil Nadu in search of clues

The murder of a 50-year-old woman, whose body was found on the railway tracks in May, was solved on the basis of her anklet by the Thane Police Crime Branch. The investigation, which spanned a period of five months and three States, uncovered a grisly tale of adultery and deceit.

According to police officials, the body was found near the tracks between Dombivli and Kopar stations on May 29 in a partially decomposed state. It was taken to Thane Civil Hospital for post-mortem examination, which said the woman’s throat had been slit. Based on this, the Dombivli police registered a case of murder against unknown persons, and the Thane Crime Branch Unit III initiated parallel investigations.

Shop in Tamil Nadu

“The only clue we had was an anklet the woman was wearing, which had something engraved on it in Tamil. With help from civilians, we learnt the word was ‘Mallar’. We searched online and found a jewellery shop with that name in Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. A team was sent to speak to the shop’s management,” a Crime Branch officer said.

The shop managers told the police that most of their clientèle is from the Muslim community in Tiruvannamalai and nearby villages. The team and the local police started looking for clues, and hit pay dirt in Radhapuram village, where a man named Khalil Sheikh told them his cousin, Shabira (50), had been missing since May. Mr. Sheikh said Shabira lived in Masjid Bunder in Pydhonie and would occasionally visit Radhapuram. He also identified the anklet.

“Having confirmed the identity of the woman, we obtained Shabira’s address and cell phone number. An analysis of her cellular location revealed that she had travelled from Masjid Bunder to Kopar the day before her body was found. We started studying the movements of numbers that she had been in frequent touch with, and also made inquires with her family to identify possible suspects,” the officer said.

Covering tracks

The police zeroed in on Mansoor Sheikh (42), Shabira’s tenant-turned-husband. A native of West Bengal, Mansoor allegedly went home, changed his SIM card and moved to Tamil Nadu, where he changed his hairstyle and shaved off his moustache. Officers said he was trying to obtain identity documents in a false name when he was picked up and brought to Dombivli for inquiries.

“Mansoor and Shabira got married after her first husband passed away, but separated within a couple of years as Shabira’s children were opposed to the marriage, mainly due to the age difference between them. Mansoor later went to West Bengal and married someone else without telling Shabira. Recently, she started insisting they move in together somewhere else, which he had no intention of doing. He took her to Kopar to look at houses, and murdered her instead,” the officer said.

Mansoor was arrested and handed over to the Dombivli police.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 1:46:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/anklet-found-on-murdered-woman-puts-her-killer-in-handcuffs/article29720169.ece

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