The brutality of murders in the recent past is a noticeable trend. Experts say stress levels, greed, falling social support structure and the fast pace of everyday life have taken a toll on people, leading them to commit such crimes.
The city has witnessed at least 40 murders in the last two months and, as per reports, more than half these were brutal.
A lot of these murders happened in the western suburbs last month, where bodies were stuffed in suitcases or tied in a gunny bag and dumped in a discreet location. In other cases, the victims were brutally assaulted and murdered by relatives or friends. While some were pre-meditated, most were committed in a fit of rage.
According to joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy, in most of these murders, the victim was known to the accused. “The number of murders has reduced compared with previous years, but what has come to light are the brutal methods used off late. Most of it has got to do with cheating, illicit relationships, and other such reasons,” said Roy.
Deputy commissioner of police, zone XI, Mahesh Patil said, “In most of these murders, it is either because of some simple financial dispute or an illicit relationship.”
On October 30, 36-year-old fashion designer Kanta Shetty’s body was cut into pieces; her torso was dumped in Charai lake in Chembur and limbs in the Trombay creek. Her boyfriend Prabhakar Shetty, 31, manager of Chembur Gymkhana was arrested and he is said to have confessed to committing the act as he couldn’t handle her pressuring him to marry her.
In the first week of October, body of 36-year-old Babu Hussain was found near a drain behind Ankur building on Linking Road in Malad. The body had several stab injuries. The victim’s fingerprints revealed he was a rape convict that led the police to arrest four of his neighbours.
Financial dispute and the victim’s interest in the wife of one of the accused was said to have led to the murder. For a similar reason, a Malwani-based tailor was murdered and his body was dumped in a suitcase behind Ryan International School in Malad.
“The point behind dumping the body and making it hard for the police to recognise it is to clear the evidence. But we have managed to solve most of these cases,” said Patil.
In two cases, headless bodies of two women were found, one on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in September and another in Nalasopara on Sunday. Both the cases are yet to be cracked.
On October 21, 28-year-old Nilesh Kamble allegedly murdered his father-in-law and wife in their house after stabbing them more than 20 times in a fit of rage. He is said to have committed the crime as his father-in-law had been pestering him for Rs70,000. According to neighbours, Kamble was a loner and traumatised after his father’s death a year ago.
As clinical psychologist Harish Shetty puts it, “Gruesomeness increases with anger and jealousy.
Even if the motive is trivial, insecurity in people leads them to commit a shocking act. We are also to blame for the pace of the society, competition and exposure to the vagaries of the globalised world.”
Shetty added it is dangerous to be cut off. “It is important to re-connect, talk to another person and vent it out. It is dangerous to be disconnected in such a crowded world,” he said.
On October 26, a Malad-based adman, Chetan Bhardwaj, was found brutally murdered in his house in Rustomjee Elanza. Ten days later, Nawaz Siddiqui, 20, was arrested and, according to the accused, the victim wanted to have a physical relationship with him against his wishes; hence, he murdered him in a fit of rage.
“Most of these are crimes of passion and because of property issues and financial disputes. We are also observing bodies being dumped, not only in remote areas but also in places people frequent. We have beefed up patrolling in these areas,” said Sunil Paraksar, additional commissioner of police, north region.
Such acts, experts say, are also an outcome of the development paradigm. Vijayraghavan, professor at the Centre for Criminology and Justice at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, said, “Crimes of passion were common in rural areas. But with more insecurity among people, falling social structure and family support system, increased consumerism, harsh living conditions and anonymity of an individual in an urbane environment, people tend to become more brutal and aggressive. Tolerance levels have also significantly reduced.”
October 26 registered 22 detected
September 12 registered 8 detected