From rat race, murder motive leaps to loan

A young part-time driver was on Monday charged with murdering missing banker Siddharth Sanghvi, with police saying the suspect stabbed the HDFC Bank vice-president for refusing to give him Rs 30,000 he needed to settle a loan he had taken to buy a motorbike.

By Arnab Ganguly in Mumbai
  • Published 11.09.18
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Siddharth Sanghvi. Source: ABP Live

Mumbai: A young part-time driver was on Monday charged with murdering missing banker Siddharth Sanghvi, with police saying the suspect stabbed the HDFC Bank vice-president for refusing to give him Rs 30,000 he needed to settle a loan he had taken to buy a motorbike.

A Mumbai court sent Sarfaraz Shaikh, 20, to police custody till September 19, hours after Sanghvi's body was found from a spot in Kalyan, Thane, as the accused, arrested on Sunday, had told the cops.

The police had earlier suspected professional rivalry was behind the murder.

"He (Sarfaraz) was expecting Rs 30,000-35,000, according to his version. There was a tussle and the murder took place. We have taken him into custody to get the answers on the what, how and where of the case," Mumbai deputy commissioner of police, zone III, Abhinash Kumar said.

"We are not ruling out any possibilities as of now. All the angles would be probed," the officer added.

Police said Sarfaraz had for the past three years been working as a fabricator at the HDFC Bank's office at the Kamala Mills Compound, where Sanghvi, 39, was one of the vice-presidents.

Sarfaraz also doubled as a luxury cab driver for extra income, the police said.

"According to him he had purchased a bike some years back and there was pressure on him to pay the EMI. He thought he could get the money from the deceased. He was a regular at the bank and knew the working hours and habits. He picked up the deceased to get easy money," DCP Kumar said.

The police found Sanghvi's cellphone on Sarfaraz but no other valuable object has either been reported stolen or been seized from him yet.

Police sources said they would question Sarfaraz to find out what happened on the evening of September 5 around 7.30pm, the time the banker was last seen driving out of the Kamala Mills Compound.

"He (Sanghvi) used to leave office around 8pm and reach his home in Malabar Hills within an hour. That night, after he did not return home, his family members lodged a missing complaint," said an officer. The banker's body was found on Monday morning.

Sarfaraz has been booked under penal code sections 302 (murder), 364 (kidnapping or abduction with intent to confine) and 365 (kidnapping or abduction with intent to murder).

The police have pieced together the sequence of events based on Sarfaraz's statements. They believe he cornered Sanghvi when the banker was about to leave for home and got into his car.

"He was carrying a knife with him, which he used to threaten Sanghvi and later stabbed him," a police officer said.

The car and the bloodstained knife had earlier been found from Navi Mumbai's Koparkhairane area.