Police Reconstruct Jhanvi Kukreja Murder Scene
India Today
Jan 12, 2021

Teenager Jhanvi Kukreja was found murdered on 1st January in a building in Khar. On 9th January, the police reconstructed the crime scene with sniffer dogs, two dummy bodies, forensic expert doctors a

19-year-old Jhanvi Kukreja was found murdered on 1st January on the ground floor of a residential building in Khar where she was attending a New Year Eve party with her friends - Shree Jodhankar (24) and Diya Padankar (19). It is believed there was a heated argument between the three that caused Jhanvi’s death. Jhanvi was a resident of Mumbai and a psychology student from Jai Hind College. On 31st December, Diya (19), Shree (24) and Jhanvi were at Jhanvi’s house to celebrate Jhanvi’s father Prakash’s birthday. Later, Diya requested Jhanvi’s parents to let her go to another party. She told them they will come back in a few hours. Jhanvi’s parents initially did not want to let Jhanvi go but on Diya’s insistence, they allowed her.

 

They were among 10 people who attended the party. At around 11.30 pm the trio reached Bhagwanti Heights apartment in Khar. The party was hosted by their friend Yash Ahuja, who lives on the second floor of the same building. The murder was discovered at 6 am. Officers at the crime scene said that a woman from the building was walking her dog when she saw blood dripping from the staircase. The party was still going on and the murder went unnoticed as people used the lift and not stairs to go up and down the building. When the police reached the rooftop, they found alcohol bottles and people in the party inebriated. Jhanvi was taken to Bhabha hospital and she had died before her parents could reach the hospital. The organiser of the party revealed that Shree and Diya fought with Jhanvi. Police suspect that the fight may have been caused by Jhanvi accusing Shree of cheating on her with Diya. At 2.30 am, Janhvi left the rooftop after a heated argument with Shree and Diya. 

 

According to the investigations, Jhanvi was allegedly brutally assaulted by Shree and from the 5th floor, the fight reached the second floor. Here Jhanvi’s head was banged on the railing of the staircase. The cops suspect Shree might have dragged Jhanvi to the ground floor or thrown her from the second floor to the ground floor. Police also said that there were bloodstains on the staircase and experts have collected samples to ascertain which bloodstain is whose as all three youths were bleeding. There is proof that Jhanvi was assaulted on the second floor, but Jhanvi’s one footwear was found on the fifth floor and the other on the ground floor, this suggests that she was  manhandled on the fifth floor as well. Moreover, Jhanvi’s earring was found lying on the fifth floor, that also suggests that there was a struggle that had ensued between Jhanvi and the two accused on the fifth floor itself. However, after allegedly killing her, Shree and Diya returned to the party. So the others attending the party thought that Jhanvi had gone home.  Diya had dinner and went off to sleep at the host’s house. Surprisingly, her body language did not for a second suggest that she had committed such a heinous crime. The cops said all the people in the party had consumed alcohol. The cops also suspect some may have taken drugs too but are awaiting blood reports.

Jhanvi’s mother, Nidhi claimed that Jhanvi had seen Shree and Diya in a compromising position at the party. After that there was an argument between them. The claims say the argument turned into a physical fight in which Jhanvi was killed. There were rumours that there was a love triangle between Jhanvi, Shree and Diya. Nidhi refuted rumours of this. She said, “Shree and Jhanvi were not dating. They were very good friends and Shree had visited our house a couple of times as well. All the three kids, Diya, Shree and Jahnvi, had a very good relationship as friends.” She added that Diya was her immediate neighbour and like a daughter to her. “Diya used to be at our house almost every day, eating, drinking, sleeping… just like my own daughter.”. However, she said that Diya’s parents have not spoken to her since the incident. As per the autopsy report, the reason for death was skull fracture. Reports also said that when Jhanvi’s injuries were checked, it was found that they were not caused by accident, it was homocidal means someone had tried to murder her. Her body showed injury marks on the hip and thighs. 

The Khar police arrested Shree and Diya on 2nd January. According to reports, Shree fractured his ribs and suffered injuries on his hands. He is currently admitted to the hospital. Once discharged, cops will take him under custody. Police are yet to find out how Shree suffered injuries, however, they opined that Shree might have also had a fall during the scuffle. Khar Police will mostly ask for extended custody of the two youths arrested. Police claim that the prime accused, Shree, could not be interrogated as he was in the hospital for treatment. Diya has started slowly revealing what had happened that night but the police said that her statements are not reliable as she was withholding information for the first two days. The Khar Police are recording detailed statements of all the party attendees to understand the sequence of events. 

On 9th January, the crime scene reconstruction was conducted for over two hours. Sniffer dogs, two dummy bodies were brought, five forensic expert doctors and the two accused -- Shree and Diya were present. The whole crime scene reconstruction was videographed. Jhanvi’s phone call records reveal that shortly before her murder, she had called up two of her friends had been allegedly sobbing. Police said that they will be recording the statement of the friend she spoke to. Jhanvi’s parents met the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on 5th January and requested him to fast-track the investigation and bring justice to their daughter.