Hours after celebrating her father’s birthday, a 19-year-old woman, who was a student of human psychology was found in a pool of blood in a building in Khar, Mumbai after she went to celebrate New Year’s Eve with her friends on the terrace. The Khar police have registered a case of murder against two of her friends. According to the family, Jhanavi Kukreja was lying covered in blood for several hours and nobody bothered to inform them.
The deceased, Jhanavi, 19, a resident of Santacruz, was celebrating New Year’s Eve with her friends on the terrace of Bhagwanti Heights, 14th Road, Khar. According to the police, Yash Ahuja, who organised the party, lives on the second floor of Bhagwanti Heights. He came to Khar Police Station around 3 AM, saying a young woman was lying in a pool of blood on the second-floor staircase.
Mumbai Police went to the spot and rushed the woman to Bhabha hospital in Bandra where she was declared brought dead. She had died between 2 AM and 2.15 AM. “Those present at the party were detained for questioning and some of them were allowed to leave. They have been asked to be present whenever required,” a senior police officer said.
Mumbai Police have registered a murder case against two of the friends of the victim, Diya Padankar, 19, and Shree Jogdhankar, 22, under Section 302 (murder), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Close friends of the victim present at Khar Police Station in the evening of 1 January claimed, “She did not fall down from the rooftop. She was assaulted, grabbed by her hair and pulled down from the terrace to till the second floor via the staircase. There were bloodstains all over the stairs.” However, Khar police’s probe has revealed what actually transpired. According to a police source, there were 12 youngsters partying on the building’s terrace.
The FIR, a copy of which is with media, stated, “The deceased, while partying, saw Diya Padankar and Shree Jogdhankar making out and the duo got angry and started arguing with the deceased. They also assaulted her and she died. A case of murder has been registered against the duo.”
Mumbai Police denied that Jhanavi was dragged by the hair down the stairs. A police source said, “Padankar and Jogdhankar, both close friends of Jhanavi’s, were with her at her residence around 7.30 PM for her father’s birthday celebration. After cutting a cake, the three went for the party at Bhagwanti Heights around midnight.”
“Jhanavi noticed that Jogdhankar was getting close to all girls and later caught him making out with Padankar. An argument ensued and while arguing, they came down the staircase from the terrace to the second floor. The two allegedly banged her head against the railing several times on the second-floor level. The assault cracked her skull on both the front and the back, leading to blood being spilt everywhere.”
After assaulting the 19-year-old woman, her friends left the building. Jogdhankar went to Sion hospital to get treatment, and Padankar, who had a minor injury on her face, went to Hinduja hospital. “The arrested accused are telling us they can’t recollect anything as they were drunk,” said Gajanan Kabdule, senior inspector of Khar police. The duo will be produced in court on 2 January.
“The friends took my daughter for a party and they did not even have the decency to call and tell us about what happened. I got a call at 5 am while my daughter had died at 2.15 am. She was lying in a pool of blood but nobody came to her rescue. She could have been saved had someone taken her to the hospital,” said Niddhi Kukreja, Jhanavi’s mother.
“I have faith in our law and judiciary system. I trust Mumbai police to bring the truth out. I want justice for my daughter,” Niddhi added. Crying outside Khar police station and looking at the pictures from the birthday celebration the previous night, Niddhi added, “My daughter had such a bright future. She was planning to study abroad. Now she is no more, just hours after celebrating her father’s birthday.”