Times of India
MUMBAI, May 27: "It was my big mistake, I not only spoiled my life but even Susairaj’s career has been ruined. I regret, I regret," this is what Emile Jerome Mathew, prime accused in the Neeraj Grover murder case, has been saying in lock-up.
Mathew and Maria Monica Susairaj were arrested by the crime branch for allegedly killing media executive Neeraj Grover and chopping his body into several pieces and burning them at a remote place in Manor, Thane, on May 7. Mathew stabbed Grover after he found him naked in Susairaj’s rented flat in Malad. The two accused were in a relationship.
The police said Mathew had no remorse for Grover. "He is feeling bad only for Susairaj,” an officer said. The police were shocked when Susairaj told them that while Grover’s body lay a few feet away, she had sex with Mathew twice.
Mathew, Grover and Maria
"I was not in that frame of mind, but out of fear, I agreed to his demands. He overpowered me. I blindly listened to Mathew," she told the police.
Susairaj said it was Mathew’s decision to dispose of the body by cutting it into pieces and burning it. "It was 10.30 am, Mathew asked me to get a big knife to chop the body. He threatened to commit suicide if I failed to return in 40 minutes. I was afraid. I loved him and rushed to Hyper City, where I bought a knife and three sports bags." she said.
On Sunday, the police seized Susairaj’s friend Kiran Shreyas’s car, which was used to ferry pieces of Grover’s body to Manor. Susairaj told the police that she was at the wheel when they went to Manor to dispose of the body. "Mathew was familiar with the route and kept giving me directions. While returning, he drove the car as I have night blindness.”
"We found bloodstains on the carpet of the boot and have sent it to the forensic lab. The long knife used for cutting the body has also been sent to the forensic lab," said JCP (crime) Rakesh Maria.
‘Maria, Maria’ was Grover’s last cry
Mumbai: “Maria, Maria!’’ were the last words that Synergy Adlabs’ creative director Neeraj Grover said as he was being slaughtered in a fit of rage by lieutenant J M Mathew in Malad on May 7.
These and other details of the gruesome crime are coming to light following sustained police interrogation of the accused.
Mathew (25), who had arrived from Kochi early in the morning on that fateful day, attacked Grover with a sharp knife after he found Grover sleeping naked in his girlfriend’s bedroom. Mathew and his actress girlfriend, Maria Monica Susairaj (27), have been arrested by the city crime branch on charges of murder and destroying evidence.
According to crime branch chief Rakesh Maria, Susairaj called Grover to help her shift her luggage to her new rented flat in Malad on the night of May 6. Grover then slept there and the two had sex in the night. Meanwhile, Mathew, who had called up Susairaj, overheard Grover laughing and came to know about Grover’s presence at Maria’s flat.
‘I came to give Maria moral support’
Naval lieutenant J M Mathew flew into a rage on learning of Neeraj Grover’s presence in his girlfriend Maria’s Malad flat. “Mathew, who is attached with the Kochi naval headquarters, told one of his friends that his girlfriend in Mumbai was upset over something and that he wanted to go there. The friend dropped himon his bike at the airport, which is 45 km from the naval academy at around 3.45 am and Mathew reached Mumbai,’’ said crime branch chief Rakesh Maria.
On reaching Susairaj’s flat, Mathew found Grover lying naked in the bedroom and lost his temper. “He took out a knife and slashed at Grover’s throat. Grover fell down and screamed “Maria, Maria’’ before losing consciousness,’’ Maria said.
After killing him, Mathew and Susairaj had sex twice and Susairaj then went to Hypercity Mall to purchase a big knife and a traveller’s bag. By then, Mathew had chopped Grover’s body into pieces and packed them in the bag. The duo left to dispose of the body at 4.30 pm and reached Manor in Thane where they poured petrol on the body pieces and burnt them.
They returned to the Malad flat at 9.30 pm. Meanwhile, Susairaj received a call from one of Grover’s friends asking her whether she wanted him to accompany them to the police station to lodge a missing complaint. Susairaj’s friends then picked her up and went to the police station.
She returned home at around 11.30 pm and had a bath even as Mathew busied himself watching TV. The duo went to have dinner in a nearby restaurant and called it a night at around 1.30 am. The duo was behaving normally and were quite sure that they had covered up their tracks successfully, the police said. Both kept receiving calls on their mobiles and behaved in a normal way.
At around 8.30 the next morning, Susairaj received a call on her cell phone from the Malad police station and was asked to come there to give her statement. She went alone and gave her statement. At 12.30 pm, the duo went for lunch in another restaurant where they discussed the line they should take if the police suspected them. “Mathew had tutored her that nobody knew about the murder and she should not be anxious,’’ said Rakesh Maria.
Mathew and Susairaj then watched a movie at home and discussed the murder. At around 6.30 pm, a police team visited the flat and spotted Mathew. The police asked the duo to visit the police station and give a more detailed statement. “In his statement to the police, Mathew said that he was a naval officer and had come to give moral support to his girlfriend after he heard that her friend was missing and she was upset over it,’’ said Maria.
After returning from the police station, the duo had dinner and at 12 am on May 9, Mathew took a cab to Santa Cruz airport.
Meanwhile, a police team along with forensic experts visited the Hyper City mall and seized the hard disc of the CCTV images. The forensic experts also collected blood stains from electric switch borad, tiles, pillow and in the bathroom of Susairaj’s flat.
On Sunday, a team of crime branch officers accompnaied by forensic experts took Jerome Mathew to the flat at Dheeraj Solitaire building where he killed Neeraj and chopped his body into pieces. Officers had taken Maria Susairaj to the flat on Saturday to gather more evidence.
The police meanwhile has turned down a request by Mathew to meet Susairaj in police custody. A crime branch official said that they wanted to avoid a confrontation between them at this stage. Mathew’s father M L Jerome has come down from Mysore to meet his son but the police are yet to decide on his request.