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Man pushes his ailing mother off the terrace because he was 'fed up' of taking care of her

The death of 64-year-old Jayashreeben Nathwani was initially ruled as a suicide three months ago. But an anonymous tip led police to reopen the case and come to the shocking conclusion.
UPDATED DEC 16, 2019
Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

Shocking, horrifying, appalling, scandalizing, disgusting, revolting, repelling, nauseating. You just run out of superlatives to describe this particular case that has the Indian subcontinent reeling. 36-year-old Sandip Nathwani, a professor at the Mody Pharmacy College in Rajkot in the Indian state of Gujarat, pushed his old and ailing mother off the rooftop of their apartment building because he was 'tired of taking care of her.'

The grisly event in question had taken place three months back, but authorities in the state had ruled the death as a suicide. The victim, 64-year-old Jayshreeben Nathwani, a retired teacher, was recovering from a brain hemorrhage and lived with her son, Sandip, his wife, and two daughters in the Darshan Avenue building in the Gandhiram area of Rajkot.

The case was reopened by the police after they received an anonymous letter suggesting that Jaiyshreeben was, in fact, murdered. The letter detailed the facts that she was not able to walk on her own and that it would not have been physically possible for her to scale the terrace wall and jump of her own volition. They proceeded to comb through the footage obtained from CCTV cameras installed in the building and found damning evidence that Sandip had carried out the gruesome crime.

Speaking about the most recent development in a recent press briefing, Deputy Commissioner of Police Karan Raj Vaghela said: "On 27 September, we got this information that Sandeep Nathwani's mother died after falling from the terrace. Initially, we reported it as an accidental death. But the death was doubtful, as a few days before this incident took place, the lady was admitted to hospital and she was bed-ridden."

As the footage rolls, Sandip can be seen leading his mother out of the house by the hands. Supporting her frail body with his own, he makes her wear her sandals and begins to take her up the stairs. His wife can be seen shutting the door once he takes his mother out.

A little while later, he comes back down, without his mother. He had worn her slippers after pushing her off the terrace and casually enters back into his home. Presumably, the body of Jayshreeben was soon discovered, with the housing society watchman rushing to the apartment door to inform Sandip of the tragedy. The footage ends as he follows the neighbor out to the scene of the crime.

After watching the CCTV video, police came to the conclusion that Sandip was present on the terrace at the time of her death and took him into custody. He initially denied all the allegations, claiming that he had come down from the terrace to fetch some water for his mother's 'Surya Namaskar', an offer of prayer to the Sun. He said that when he came down, she jumped off the terrace and died.

Sandip would subsequently confess to the crime and admit he acted out because he was 'fed up' of taking care of his mother. Vaghela said: "The CCTV footage clearly establishes the fact that at 08:56 am and 40 seconds, at the time when Jayshreeben fell and dies on the spot, Sandip was very much on the terrace. It is immediately after she fell to the ground that Sandip is seen rushing down."

"He told us that he was fed up with his mother’s illness. Sandip told us that on the day of the incident he took his mother to the terrace and pushed her," he added.

He also said that police had doubted his version of the events from the start but did not explain why it took the police more than three months to find the incriminating footage, which was easily available, and register a case of murder.

Speaking to News18, Commissioner of Police for Rajkot city, Anupam Singh Gehlot said that the police control room received an anonymous call about the incident, "We seized the hard drive of the CCTV footage and collected the footage from other sources. We came to the conclusion the victim was almost immobile and could not have jumped over a three-foot parapet."

He continued: "Constant quarrels between Jayshreeben and her children and the fact that she was bedridden and required help to even walk a few steps appear to be the motive for the murder."

Sandip reportedly complained of uneasiness during the interrogation and was admitted to the hospital. He will be formally arrested once he is discharged from the hospital. Police have registered an FIR against him under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).