SARFARAZ SHAIKH (20), arrested for the murder of HDFC Bank vice-president Siddharth Sanghvi, has reportedly told the Mumbai Police that two days prior to the incident, he had tried to attack another man in the same parking lot at Kamla Mills Compound in Lower Parel, where he had killed the bank official. The police are now on the lookout for this prospective victim. According to the police, Shaikh has said that he was about to attack this man with a rod but backed out at the last moment when the man’s friends arrived on the scene. Shaikh had then allegedly fled from the parking lot. Sanghvi was his second attempt at a robbery, police said.
Sanghvi had gone missing from Kamla Mills parking lot on September 5. His body was recovered on Monday. Preliminary probe has revealed Shaikh had bought a bike recently, for which he had to repay a loan of around Rs 35,000. Shaikh allegedly tried to threaten Sanghvi to pay him the money. When Sanghvi refused to hand him any cash, Shaikh killed him. Police said the accused was searching for a target for nearly 15 days. “Shaikh claims he had threatened another person employed with a company inside the Kamla Mills compound. He tried to scare him with an iron rod and demanded money, but before he could take any money, the man’s friends arrived and Shaikh escaped,” said an officer.
Police claimed that Shaikh has been given differing accounts on why he committed the crime. Investigators said they will send a team to Shaikh’s native place in Uttar Pradesh to speak to his father. Call data records of Shaikh’s phone have shown that he contacted his father several times since the day of the crime. “He has contacted his father more than he usually would,” said an officer. Shaikh initially tried to threaten Sanghvi but as he resisted, Shaikh slashed his neck. Despite sustaining an injury, Sanghvi tried to escape. As he rushed into the car, Shaikh followed him and stabbed him several times using a small four inch knife,” said an officer. He then drove to Kalyan in Sanghvi’s car to dispose of the body.
On September 8, Shaikh inserted his own SIM card into Sanghvi’s phone and called the latter’s father, assuring him that Sanghvi was safe. “In the phone conversation, the accused said Sanghvi was with him… Before the parents could say anything, Shaikh disconnected the phone,” said the officer. ‘ Asked why the accused called Sanghvi’s family, the officer said Shaikh reportedly felt guilty. Shaikh is a fourth-floor resident of Mamu Manzil building in Koperkhairane, where he is known as Raees Shaikh.
Residents of the building said they never imagined Raees would kill for money. “He was very respectful and would greet everyone when we met,” said Nizbul Nissa, a resident.