Vile Parle police Saturday arrested a 42-year-old man from Pune for allegedly murdering the mother of his ex-wife on Thursday night because she refused to reveal the whereabouts of her daughter who had remarried while he was in jail.

The incident took place around 11.30 pm on Thursday at Pitlewadi on Hanuman Road in Vile Parle (East) where the deceased woman Shamal Shyam Shigam used to live with her daughter Leena. The accused Iqbal Shaikh was produced before a magistrate court Saturday and remanded in police custody.

A resident of Bamanwada in Vile Parle (East), Shaikh married Leena in 2011 and the couple have a daughter and a son, both aged below five. For the last three years Shaikh had been imprisoned in Pune’s Yerwada Jail in connection with a chain-snatching case at Dahisar and was released on September 1.

Upon release, he went to meet his wife only to learn that she had remarried during his incarceration and has a 11-month-old son with her current husband. Leena was also pregnant. He then threatened her, demanding that she abandon her new family and reunite with him.

Shaikh tried to visit Leena and the children again the next day, but they had left and despite being threatened, Shamal refused to reveal their location.

In a fit of rage, Shaikh allegedly assaulted her with tiles and a knife. On being alerted by local residents, the police rushed to the spot and found her in a pool of blood. The woman was rushed to a hospital nearby where she was declared brought dead.

Suspecting that Shaikh may try to get in touch with his former prison inmates, the police reached out to informers and learned that he was in Pune. “We then found that he was in Boisar and arrested him from there,” said Shivshankar Bhosle, Assistant Inspector of Vile Parle station.

The accused was planning to change his identity and settle down in Nashik or Andhra Pradesh, where his father hails from.

“There are 28 criminal cases against the accused. He has been convicted in eight cases,” said Rajendra Kane, Police Inspector (Crime). Shaikh has previously been externed twice from the city limits owing to his vast crime record. Most of the cases against him are for burglaries, chain-snatching and body offences. This is the first time that he has been booked for murder, said police.

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