Five days after a senior HDFC Bank executive went missing, Mumbai Police recovered his body from a hilly area near the Haji Malang shrine in Thane district on Monday, and have arrested a 20-year-old man in connection with the murder.
In the wee hours on Monday, NM Joshi police registered a case under sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 364 (A) (kidnapping for ransom) and 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) of the Indian Penal Code, and arrested Sarfaraz Shaikh, a driver from Navi Mumbai’s Koperkhairaine. Shaikh was produced before a court in Mumbai on Monday and has been sent to police custody till 19 September.
Deputy Commissioner of police Manjunath Singe (Mumbai police spokesperson) said, “The body was found in the morning in Kalyan. Our team is at the spot. Panchanama is going on. The sections of murder will be added once the paperwork is done.”
The police said that Shaikh has been altering his statement since his detention on Sunday morning. However, in one of his statements, he has revealed the names of three persons who he has claimed stabbed Siddharth Kiran Sanghvi, a Vice President with HDFC Bank, in a parking lot inside Kamla Mill Compound in Lower Parel.
The trio then allegedly wrapped Sanghvi’s body in a mattress and kept it in his car. Shaikh has claimed that he was given the responsibility of disposing of the body. The investigator said that they suspect professional rivalry to have been the reason for Sanghvi’s murder. Investigators are yet to identify the mastermind of the crime.
“In one statement, he (Shaikh) said that he wanted to rob Sanghvi and killed him when the latter resisted,” an officer said. “At other times, he named three men that he claimed were responsible for the killing.”
The Navi Mumbai Police, who are conducting a parallel investigation, got the first breakthrough Sunday morning after they picked up Shaikh from CBD Belapur. Shaikh lives in Koperkhairaine and drives an app-based taxi.
“After dumping the body near Haji Malang in Kalyan, Shaikh abandoned the car in Koperkhairaine,” said an officer. The spot where the body was found is about 60 km from Lower Parel.
“One man saw him getting out of the car after parking Sanghvi’s Maruti Ignis. The informant knew Shaikh, so we were tipped off about his location in CBD Belapur. We laid a trap accordingly and got hold of him,” said Police Inspector Jagdish Kulkarni of the Navi Mumbai Police Crime Branch (central unit).
Sanghvi lived in a Malabar Hill apartment with his wife, parents and a four-year-old son. He went missing from the Kamla Mill Compound on September 5. Police said his phone was switched off before leaving the compound but was later switched on for five minutes the next day, and again around 7 pm on Saturday, leading to the location of the car in Koperkhairaine. Police recovered a knife and blood stains on the back seat of the car.