THE MUMBAI Police Crime Branch, that is investigating the alleged murder of finance manager Kirti Vyas, found that one of the arrested accused Siddhesh Tamhankar had visited the locality of the victim’s residence a day before her death. When the police questioned him about the reason why Tamhankar, 28, had visited the spot, he told them that he went to purchase some spare parts for his bike. He, however, claimed that he did not remember the shop he had visited. Tamhankar and 42-year-old Khushi Sahjwani, who were arrested by the crime branch for the murder of the 27-year-old, were on Thursday produced before the magistrate court, which sent them to judicial custody. The police have so far had no luck in tracking down the body of Vyas in the creek in Wadala, where the accused claimed to have disposed of her body.
A senior crime branch officer said Tamhankar had twice visited the locality of Vyas before her murder. “Once he visited a week ahead and then an evening before the murder, revealed the Call Details Records (CDR) of Tamhankar. Vyas was murdered on March 16. When we questioned him, he claimed to have visited some shop in the area. He, however, claimed to not remember the shop. We suspect he may have gone there a day earlier to recce the spot,” the officer said. The police are still trying to weigh evidence to decide if it was a pre-meditated or a spur of the moment incident, as claimed by the accused.
While finding the body will help police make a watertight case, the police believed even in the absence of it, they have enough evidence to prove the case against the accused. “We have been looking for the body since the past few days, but it is a huge area. There is still a large section of the mangroves that we have not checked yet,” the officer said. He added that in order to verify if the accused were lying to them about the spot, they had reconstructed the crime scene. “We used a vehicle and reconstructed the crime scene around the same time as the accused. It is clear that there would have hardly had any time to dispose of the body anywhere else. Even their CDR records show them in the same area, where they claim to have dumped the body,” an officer linked to the case said.
Vyas was last seen on March 16 morning in Sahjwani’s Ford EcoSport after she and Tamhankar had picked her up from outside her home in Bharat Nagar on Grant Road, and allegedly offered to drop her to work. Vyas was a finance manager at BBlunt’s Andheri (West) branch. Tamhankar was Vyas’s junior in the same department, while Sahjwani was a trainer in another department. After two drops of blood, which were retrieved from the mat of Sahjwani’s car, matched with the DNA of Vyas, the crime branch arrested the duo on May 4 on charges of murder.