Mumbai Local

Employer, house staff booked for ‘cover-up’

Two days after a domestic worker died after falling from her employer’s 19th floor apartment in Maker Towers, the Cuffe Parade police on Monday registered FIRs against her employer and co-employees for not informing authorities after Shamita Tambe, 30, fell from a window late on Friday. Police said they did not volunteer any information about her identity or the incident for nearly six hours after the police reached the spot on Saturday.

Tambe, who was employed in the household of businessman Ramesh Bhojwani, 66, was found lying in a pool of blood around 8 am on Saturday morning on the porch of the residential building’s ‘A’ wing. It was only after half a day of inquiries that her identity was established, after which the attempted cover-up unravelled.

Manoj Sharma, DCP (Zone I), said, “We reached the spot at 8 am on Saturday. No one was willing to volunteer information about the identity of the deceased till 1 pm. It was only after we declared that we would be going door to door to make inquiries and later take action against anyone found to be wilfully withholding information that Bhojwani and his servants started talking.”

After two days of questioning, Bhojwani and his house staff have allegedly told the police that Tambe fell out of the kitchen window of Bhojwani’s residence around 1.30 am on Saturday when she lost her balance after consuming too much alcohol.

The police said Bhojwani had thrown a party to celebrate his birthday on Friday, which was attended by a large number of guests. After the party, he gave a bottle of vodka to his house staff consisting of Tambe and five others — Suman Raut, Ubdi Das, Pawan Yadav, Ramu Raut and Raja Raut. The group was drinking the vodka when Tambe hurt her foot by stepping on a piece of glass. Suman Raut allegedly picked her up and placed her on the kitchen platform, right in front of an open window.

The police believe Tambe fell out of the window when she leaned too far backward while tying her hair. Her hair band still clutched in her fist when her body was found, said officers. “After Tambe fell out of the window, the others alerted Bhojwani and his caretaker, Aruna Ingole, who were asleep. They told the house staff to let the matter be,” Mr Sharma said.

Officials said Bhojwani and his house staff, having moved into the house just 10 days ago, were not well known to other building residents, thought Tambe’s death would remain a mystery if she was not identified.

After ascertaining that everyone present in the house attempted to cover up the details of the death, police on Monday registered two FIRs in connection with the matter.

While Suman was booked for causing death due to negligence under the Indian Penal Code for placing Tambe close to the open, grill-less window, Bhojwani and the rest of his house staff were booked for intentional omission in giving information, also an offence under the IPC.

After the party, Bhojwani gave a bottle of vodka to his staff including Tambe and others


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 3:50:49 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/employer-house-staff-booked-for-coverup/article8243162.ece