A 24-year-old woman, who was desperate to pay off a $180 online loan, killed her grandmother to sell her jewelry.
The incident took place Tuesday in the western Indian city of Pune. According to local media reports, the accused – identified as Gauri Dange – was arrested. The incident came to light after Sulochana Dange, 70, was found dead in her house.
“Gauri had lodged a murder complaint after the incident, but she kept changing her statements, making the police suspicious. She was subjected to some intense grilling, during which she admitted to having committed the crime,” The Times of India quoted deputy commissioner of police (zone III) Pournima Gaikwad as saying.
Authorities said the loan app executives were hounding Gauri for the past few days to repay the loan.
“They sent her entire contact list and her two photos on her cellphone on Tuesday morning with a message that the pictures would be morphed and sent to her contacts if she failed to repay the loan by night. This drove her into a panic mode and she ended up committing the crime,” Gaikwad stated.
Gauri reportedly killed her grandmother and took her jewelry to repay the loan, the Indian Express reported. She sold her grandmother’s gold chain and a pair of gold earrings to a local jeweler.
A police source told local media Gauri was unable to sustain her habit of shopping and traveling with her salary.
“So, she started taking loans from online apps. She would borrow from an app to repay the loan of another. She soon landed in a tight spot. She knew about her grandmother’s ornaments, but the latter had told her that she had no money. In the instant case, her loan repayment was due by the end of this month.”
On Tuesday, Gauri reached home early and saw her grandmother sleeping. She picked up a pillow and smothered her, DCP Gaikwad said.
“When Sulochana tried to put up resistance, Gauri picked up a shaving razor and inflicted cut wounds on her hands and neck. She then picked up a screwdriver and hit it hard on Sulochana’s head, causing a deep-cut injury. We have seized the screwdriver, the razor and the pillow,” Gaikwad said.
The accused cleaned the scene, and tried to make it look like two men entered the house when the victim was alone, and murdered her. However, her plan to hide the crime failed.