Woman smashes 86-year-old mother-in-law to death using frying pan

Based on the content of inquiry, Surjeet's testimony, CCTV footage and the post-mortem report, a case under section 302 (murder) of the IPC has been registered and Sarmishta is being arrested, police said.

New Delhi: A 48-year-old woman allegedly smashed her mother-in-law to death using a frying pan in south Delhi’s Neb Sarai area, police said on Tuesday, suspecting the accused might have grown frustrated as she had to take care of the 86-year-old who was suffering from arthritis.

On April 28, a person informed the police that his friend’s mother named Hasi Som fell in her flat and was bleeding, police said.

Surjit Som (51), his wife Sarmishta Som (48) and their 16-year-old daughter have been living with in Swastik Residency, Neb Sarai since 2014.

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A senior police officer said the family hails from Kolkata and his mother was living alone there till March 2022, when he brought her to Delhi to take care of her. He rented a flat for her in front of his own, the officer said.

When police reached the spot, they found Hasi Som was lying in the kitchen having sustained multiple injuries on face and skull, police said.

Surjit said his mother was suffering from arthritis for a long time and had problems in walking.

One table CCTV camera was found in the bedroom, but no storage device was found in the camera but it was taken into possession, police said.

Surjit said he has live access of the camera on his phone as he monitors routine of her mother. He further said that on the day of incident due to power cut, camera was not working, they said.

Initially, Family members as well as neighbours did not suspect any foul play.

The body was taken to the AIIMS mortuary and on April 29, the autopsy was conducted. During post-mortem, the doctor said that such injuries could not be caused by a normal fall and a detailed inquiry should be conducted, Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Chandan Chowdhary said.

Surjit’s daughter said her mother and grandmother did not have cordial relations. Her mother did not like her grandmother and Surjit also confirmed this, police said.

On the day of the incident, only Sarmishta was present in the flat.

Later Surjit said on the day of incident before calling the police, he took out the memory card of the CCTV camera placed in the bedroom of the deceased, the DCP said.

The CCTV footage revealed that around 10:30 am on April 28, Sarmishta entered Hasi Som’s flat with a frying pan/cooker in her hand. She went behind the deceased in kitchen (which was out of sight of CCTV), Chowdhary said.

Further, several blows were given to the deceased and her cry can be heard in the CCTV. After allegedly committing the offence, Sarmishta can be seen cleaning the cooker/weapon of offence with a cloth, the DCP said.

Surjit kept the memory card safely with him and saw the footage after the last rites. He could see his wife entering his mother’s flat. He saw her leaving also. He shared his apprehension with the local police. The post-mortem report was received on Monday in which the death attributed to ante-mortem injuries, police said.

According to the autopsy report, there were 14 injuries all over the body.

Based on the content of inquiry, Surjeet’s testimony, CCTV footage and the post-mortem report, a case under section 302 (murder) of the IPC has been registered and Sarmishta is being arrested, police said.

Police said they could not find an immediate trigger for the incident, but suspect it could have been caused by the younger woman’s longstanding frustration of taking care of the elderly person, cooking for her, giving her food on time and helping her with daily routine.

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