National / World

Maria Nailed after Answering Grover's Phone Call

Times of India

Mumbai, Jun3: Maria Susairaj never thought her game would be up when the answer button on Neeraj Grover’s mobile got pressed while she was pulling it out of her denim pocket to see who the caller was.

On May 7, Susairaj, along with prime accused Jerome Mathew, was on her way to Manor in a friend’s car to dispose of Grover’s body when his mobile rang. She had kept his mobile with her after the murder. The moment Susairaj realised her mistake, she disconnected the call.

This was one of the key leads the police worked on to crack the case. Susairaj, during questioning before her arrest, had told the police that she was shopping in Dadar when she was actually on her way to Manor. Susairaj fumbled for answers when the police confronted her, saying the mobile phone’s location was Dahisar and not Dadar.

Susairaj got exposed once again when Mathew’s friend Jitesh denied giving his Santro to her for shopping. She had initially told the police that she borrowed the car from Jitesh, a Colaba-based naval officer. Susairaj requested Jitesh to stand by her if the police questioned him. Jitesh, who was at sea, refused to toe this line as the records would prove otherwise.

Susairaj admitted to the police that she lied for personal reasons but told the truth about the owner of the car. She said the car belonged to her friend Kiran Shreyas.

The police allowed her to go home but summoned Shreyas, who said Susairaj had borrowed the car saying she wanted to go to Dadar for shopping with Mathew. The police warned Shreyas about disclosing the facts to Susairaj.

On May 16, the police brought the car to the Bandra crime branch unit. Satish Singh, watchman of the Malad building where Susairaj stayed, also identified the vehicle. Susairaj was in for a big surprise when crime branch
sleuths landed at her flat around 2 am the next day. She accompanied them and was shocked to see Shreyas’s Santro in the crime branch unit.

Susairaj gave no further explanation and just broke down, an officer said. She narrated the entire incident—from Mathew coming to the flat to the disposal of Grover’s body in Manor, said the police. Joint commissioner of police (crime) Rakesh Maria said, “As there were several contradictions in her statements, we suspected her. When securityman Satish Singh identified Shreyas’s Santro, we cornered her.’’

Mathew leads sleuths to knife in Malad apartment   

The crime branch on Sunday recovered a nine-inch knife from Maria Monica Susairaj’s flat in Dheeraj Solitaire building, Malad. The police believe the knife was used to kill media executive Neeraj Grover.

According to the police, Jerome Mathew disclosed this during interrogation on Sunday. Joint commissioner of police (crime) Rakesh Maria said the knife was found inside a chute behind the bathroom. “While Susairaj went to Hypercity to buy a bigger knife to chop Grover’s body, Mathew, who was cleaning the bloodstains, threw the knife into the chute. It lay there since then,’’ he said. The police however, could not explain how they missed spotting the knife despite searching the house several times. The police had earlier sent a couple of seized knives for forensic tests to look for DNA samples. The tests turned out to be negative, which made the police question Mathew further about the knife.

A team accompanied by Mathew, went to the flat and recovered the knife. The police have sent the bloodstained knife, which could prove vital in the probe, to the forensic lab.

On Monday, Mathew and Susairaj were sent to a hospital where their blood samples were obtained for examination. Senior inspector Ashok Borkar said they collected the blood samples to build a watertight case. “There are chances that the accused may say during trial that the bloodstains found on the knife were not of Grover’s but theirs. So, we are taking all precautions.’’

The Grover family left for Kanpur last week after the JCP (crime) assured that he would send the victim’s remains to the native place after the forensic tests.

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