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November 2, 2002

Old couple in Ghatkopar assaulted

From: Mid-Day Mumbai, India
Nov. 2, 2002

By: Kavita Krishnan
November 2,2002

Telakshi R Shah (82) is recovering from multiple injuries to his head and face in Ward 16 of Sion hospital. His wife, Kesarbai Shah (75), has just regained consciousness in the trauma ward.

The elderly couple live alone. Their two sons are settled in Chennai and their daughters married. They were assaulted by three robbers at their Ghatkopar home early Friday morning. The robbers escaped with Rs 4 lakh in cash and 15 tolas of gold.

Telakshi and Kesarbai were sleeping in the living room of their ground-floor flat in Gopal Krishna Society, Jagdu Shah Nagar, when the robbers broke into their home between 2:15 am and 3 am.

“The robbers broke open the latch and the lock with an iron rod and entered the bedroom,” Telakshi said. As he and his wife are both hard of hearing, they continued to sleep, while the robbers picked the cash and jewellery and smashed the furniture.

“My wife awoke when one of the men tried removing the bangles from her hand. She protested and the robbers started assaulting her. I tried to shield her and was also assaulted,” Telakshi said. His face is swollen and he speaks with difficulty.

“She is in the ICU. I don’t know how she’s doing,” he added.

Police were informed of the robbery by passerby Arvind Dedhia. Residents in the opposite building alerted Dedhia to the crime. Dedhia said, “By the time I reached, police had already reached there and admitted them to the local hospital.”

Doctors there recommended that Kesarbai be shifted to Sion hospital. She was admitted at Sion at 5 am and Telakshi at 2 pm yesterday.

The Ghatkopar police have registered a complaint. “We have not arrested anyone yet,” a police officer said. Inspector Ashok Borse is leading the investigation.

Interestingly, Telakshi has alleged that the building’s watchman could have been in league with the robbers. “The watchman was absent when the robbers attacked. Probably he was in league with them. I think watchmen are passing on information to robbers about old people living alone. That’s how crimes against senior citizens are increasing,” he alleged.

© 2002 Mid-Day Multimedia Ltd. All rights reserved