MUMBAI: Hours before he was to be produced in the Andheri metropolitan magistrate court, the accused in the flight attendant murder case died by suicide by hanging himself in the washroom of Andheri police station lock-up on Friday morning. “The accused, Vikram Athwal, used his trousers to hang himself from the pipe in the toilet around 8.30am,” said a Powai police officer.
Police were preparing documents to seek extension of Athwal’s custody when they learnt that he had ended his life. They then submitted a report informing the court about the suicide. They also informed Athwal’s wife about his death. The post-mortem was carried out at JJ Hospital in the evening.
Andheri police have registered a case of accidental death and initiated an inquiry to find out the reason that triggered Athwal to end his life. “He seemed to be normal on the day of his arrest. He had even confessed to his crime,” said a police officer.
The city crime branch unit-10 will probe into Athwal’s death by suicide. Sources said Powai police will soon file an abated summary before the Andheri court, closing the murder case.
According to the police report submitted in court, the body of the 23-year-old flight attendant was found in a pool of blood by a friend of her sister who visited the flat at N G Cooperative Housing Society around 10pm on Sunday, and called a keymaker when there was no response to the doorbell. “Using a duplicate key, the friend and keymaker entered the flat. The sister asked her friend to keep his phone on video call mode and check the rooms. The victim was neither in the living room nor the bedroom, but the air-conditioning unit was on. The friend then entered the bathroom and found her lying in a pool of blood; the sister also saw the scene on the video call. The friend tried to give CPR to revive her, but noticed that her throat was slit. He and the keymaker then informed the police,” said the report.
At least eight police teams were formed and 40 people, including the building housekeeping staff and security guards, were questioned before police arrested Athwal who reported to work on Monday.
In the report submitted to court, police also said that they have recovered the 11-inch long knife used in the crime.

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