Preliminary investigation by the Malad police ruled out foul play and a case of accidental death has been registered, though no suicide note has been recovered.
The victim, Amita Dedhia, jumped off the terrace of Acme Apartments in Sundar Nagar, Malad (W) around 6.30 am, but the cops don’t know whether she had an altercation with her ex-husband, Ajay Dedhia, who resides on the 12th floor.
Amita owned an apartment on the 13th floor in the same building, but resided with her eight-yearold daughter a few blocks away in Garden Flats building, which is just a five-minute walk from where her ex-husband lived.
The Malad police found out that Amita went to her house in Acme Apartments on Tuesday night, and stepped out around 6 am Wednesday. Around half-an-hour later, she returned to the flat, changed into fresh set of clothes, and reached the terrace where the building watchman was checking the water tank.
The watchman said in his statement that he didn’t even know Amita was on the terrace, and realised she had committed suicide when another watchman on the ground floor started screaming.
The cops have also learnt that Amita’s daughter had left for London a few days ago, to visit her father’s relatives. An officer from Malad Police Station said, “Ajay has said that he didn’t speak to his ex-wife on Tuesday or Wednesday. In fact, he wasn’t aware that she was in her 13th floor flat, as she preferred to stay in Garden Flats society. There is nothing to suggest they had an argument.”
Amita had married Ajay, 36, more than 10 years ago, but the couple divorced in 2006. The Dedhia family sources said that Ajay ensured that his exwife and daughter were well looked after even when he remarried.
A friend of Ajay said, “Amita got two apartments in Malad as part of the divorce settlement. Ajay paid for their girl’s education, and ensured his ex-wife and daughter never had to suffer financially.” Residents of both Acme and Garden Flats buildings said they never saw Ajay and Amita arguing, and Ajay rarely visited his ex-wife. Aresident of Garden Flats said, “We were under the impression that Amita and Ajay had come to terms with their divorce. In fact, the society maintenance bills are paid by Ajay.”
‘Loneliness could have killed her’
Police have learnt that Amita had no family other than her daughter, and was a recluse. Prior to her marriage, she was living in an ashram. A neighbour of the victim whom Mumbai Mirror spoke to said the society residents knew “very little” about her.
“She wouldn’t even acknowledge us when we came across her in the elevator. She appeared very protective about her girl, but we have never seen her ex-husband in the society,” said the neighbour, who didn’t want her name in the print.
Another neighbour said the victim’s daughter would often travel abroad to visit her father’s relatives, and Amita would hardly be seen during such times. “She never encouraged her daughter to play with other children in the building, and during times when the girl was away, she would remain confined in the house for days together,” the neighbour said.
The cops were recording Ajay’s statement at the time of going to press. Inspector Vasant Patil from Malad Police Station said, “We will speak to Ajay and his relatives at length. As of now, a case of accidental death has been registered.”(MM)