A woman and her daughter from the Maninagar area of Ahmedabad ended the life of a Mumbai stockbroker - with whom both were having an affair - cutting him 17 times, to annex his Rs 17 crore property. Mukti Shah, from the western Mumbai suburb of Kandivli, was found dead in the Anand district of Gujarat on December 12. The 52-year-old woman and her 30-year-old daughter, who were arrested by the Anand police on Friday, have confessed to committing the murder.
Shah was killed near Vasad village en route from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. On Sunday, the local crime branch officials recovered the power of attorney for the Rs 17 crore property, which is located in Panvel on the outskirts of Navi Mumbai.
Local crime branch inspector R D Dabhi said that the accused are educated and upwardly mobile. The daughter is a fashion designer who had crafted the plan to make Shah sign the power of attorney in her name six months ago.
Officials said that this was the first instance of a mother and daughter being involved in such a brutally executed murder. Interestingly, the first clue of a woman being involved in the murder was picked up by Anand superintendent of police who found a plastic bag containing vegetables and a dupatta in Shah's car.
Anand police requested the Ahmedabad police to scan call data records which highlighted frequent calls to the two women. They were then picked up for interrogation.
The women told police officials said that Shah first came in touch with the woman during his frequent visits to Ahmedabad. The two started an affair and the woman even gave her husband's retirement money to Shah.
Later, her daughter too began an affair with Shah and he would regularly go on trips with either the mother or the daughter.
When the daughter found that Shah was a rich man and had property in Panvel, a plan began to germinate. On one outing with Shah, she ensured that he became inebriated and had him sign the power of attorney. Later, the two women decided to eliminate him.
Third time unlucky
The mother-daughter duo wanted to use poison - with which dogs are put to sleep - to kill Shah, but could not draw the poison into a syringe. They then mixed this poison in his tea. When Shah started feeling groggy, the daughter made him sit in the car saying that she would drive him to Mumbai. Her mother sat in the back seat.
When the women were sure that Shah had become unconscious, they cut his jugular vein and other veins and dumped him in the car to die.
The two confessed that this was their third attempt to finish off Shah. Earlier, the daughter had gone to Lonavala with Shah and had tried to push him off a cliff. When she failed, she again tried to poison Shah in Panvel by spiking his drink, which Shah did not touch.
The third time around, the mother lent her a hand and the two succeeded.
They wanted to be dead sure
After attacking Shah, the two women fled from the car. They were spotted by a motorcyclist who asked them if they were in trouble. The two cooked up a story that they were involved in an accident and needed help. The motorcyclist dropped them at Borsad. After getting down, the two were worried that Shah may still be alive. They took a rickshaw back to the spot to confirm that he indeed was dead.