Mumbai: Sarfaraz Shaikh, a 20-year-old cab driver was arrested for the murder of HDFC bank vice-president Siddharth Sanghvi in Mumbai, told a magistrate that he had killed him for money to pay his EMIs for his motorbike.
Sanghvi, 39, was allegedly murdered by Shaikh in a robbery attempt gone wrong, in the parking lot of the Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel on September 5. The body was found on Monday morning, five days later, near Kopar Khairane, around 30 kms away.
Sarfaraz Shaikh’s confession
“Jo hua woh hua sir, meine hi kiya hai, (Whatever happened is true sir, I did it)” Shaikh said on the stand. “Gaadi ki EMI aur paise ka pressure tha aur mein dekhta tha unko upar-neeche jaate (I was under pressure to pay my motorbike’s EMI and also was in need of money. I used to see him going in and coming out of the building),” the cab driver said before the metropolitan magistrate at Bhoiwada on Monday.
The investigating officer told the court that the police needed to investigate if Shaikh had acted alone or if he had any accomplices. The final reason for the remand was that Sanghvi’s wallet, the items in it and his watch were still missing and needed to be recovered.
How Sanghvi was murdered
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhinash Kumar, Sarfaraz had bought a motorcycle and needed about Rs 35,000 to pay off a loan. On Wednesday night, he cornered the 39-year-old bank executive after work in the parking lot of his office and demanded money. When the banking executive raised an alarm, Sarfaraz stabbed him. According to police sources, Shaikh slit Sanghvi’s throat because he had raised his voice. Shaikh also stabbed Sanghvi multiple times and then stuffed the executive’s body into the leg-space area of the back seat, police said.
Panicking, he admitted that he took the body to neighbouring Thane and after dumping it, he drove the banker’s car to Koparkhairane in Navi Mumbai. He abandoned the car before running away to his residence the police said. But he kept Sanghvi’s phone, which led the police to him.
Events that followed after the murder
On September 5, Singhvi left office around 8pm and encountered Shaikh in the parking lot. The murder is believed to have taken place between 8 and 8.30pm.
Around 8.30pm, when Sanghvi’s family could not reach him via call, they were worried.The banker’s family filed a missing report with the police after he did not return home till late on Wednesday night.
A day later, the executive’s car was found abandoned near a high-rise apartment building in Navi Mumbai, with bloodstains and a knife on the rear seat.
Two days after that Sanghvi’s father received a call, from a man who told him that his son was safe and he need not worry. The police said that the call was made from Sanghvi’s phone from Navi Mumbai, although the SIM card was different.
The police found the same phone with Sarfaraz.
Theory of professional rivalry proven wrong
His disappearance unnerved banking and corporate circles and fanned several theories, including one of murder by jealous colleagues and suspected professional rivalry. On Monday, the police raised doubts about the theory but said that all angles will be investigated.
Shaikh has been charged with Mr Sanghvi’s murder. He was produced before a Mumbai Court and sent to police custody till September 19.
Sanghvi, a specialist in credit and market risk, had joined the bank in 2007. He lived in south Mumbai’s affluent Malabar Hill area, and is survived by his wife and eight-year-old son. Sanghvi’s family conducted his last rights at the Chandanwadi crematorium on Monday evening.
(With inputs from Agencies)