A brutal rape and murder unfolded at the Savitribai Phule Women’s Hostel, a state government-operated facility located near the Police Gymkhana on Marine Drive.
The prime suspect in this heinous crime, identified as Prakash Kanojia, a 33-year-old security guard, is believed to have taken his own life on the railway tracks between Marine Lines station and Churchgate. Kanojia’s alleged involvement in the horrific incident has added to the sense of horror and outrage surrounding the case.
The tragic event came to light on Tuesday afternoon around 4 pm when hostel authorities discovered the lifeless body of the 18-year-old victim through her room’s window. She was found unclothed on the floor between two beds, with the room locked from the outside. Immediately alarmed by the distressing sight, the authorities wasted no time in alerting the local police, who swiftly initiated a thorough investigation into the matter.
The victim, a second-year polytechnic student from Akola and the sole child of her parents, resided on the fourth floor of the hostel. Alongside her studies, she also held a part-time job. With the majority of the girls, including her roommate, away on vacation, the hostel was occupied by a small number of individuals, estimated to be around 40-50. The hostel consists of five floors, with 30 rooms on each floor, catering to girl students.
Preliminary findings by the police indicate signs of forced entry into the victim’s room. The body displayed clear indications of strangulation on her neck, accompanied by evidence of sexual assault. To gather further evidence and insights, a post-mortem examination has been scheduled.
Following the registration of a case of rape and murder by the Marine Drive police, an extensive search was launched to locate the prime suspect, Kanojia. However, a tip-off led authorities to a body matching his description at GT Hospital near the Police Commissioner’s office. Kanojia’s father was summoned from Colaba to identify the deceased, confirming the demise of his son.
Forensic experts promptly arrived at the scene to commence their investigation, meticulously collecting crucial pieces of evidence. Reviewing the CCTV footage, the police discovered Kanojia leaving the hostel premises at 5 am, abandoning the victim’s mobile phone before his departure.