HDFC executive Siddharth Sanghvi killed for money: Says Accused

HDFC executive Siddharth Sanghvi killed for money: Says Accused
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Sarfaraz Shaikh, a 20-year-old man arrested for the murder of HDFC bank executive 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, near Kalyan, around 45 kms away.

“Jo hua woh hua sir, meine hi kiya hai (Whatever has happened has in fact happened and I have done it),” said Shaikh when he was put 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 bike’s EMI and also was in need of money and I used to see him going in and coming out of the building),” Shaikh, a cabbie, said before the metropolitan magistrate at Bhoiwada on Monday. Shaikh has been remanded to police custody till September 19.

The magistrate stopped Shaikh before he revealed any further potentially incriminating details of the murder.

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.

Shaikh then drove the car to Navi Mumbai, where he lives. Before going to his residence, the accused first dumped Sanghvi’s body and then abandoned the car.

He kept Sanghvi’s phone, which led to him being caught.

The investigating officer told the court that the police wanted Shaikh in their custody to find out the motive behind the murder of Sanghvi. The officer also said that they 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.

What has the investigators foxed is the three-hour gap between Sanghvi leaving office at 8pm and his car being driven out of the parking lot at 11.20pm.

Top police sources told HT that Sanghvi, who lived on Malabar Hill with his family, used to leave office around 7-7.15pm and reach home approximately an hour later by 8.30 pm. “He would reach home by 8.15-8.30 pm every day, depending on the traffic condition,” sources said.

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 (the results of the autopsy will help ascertain the time more precisely). The police believe Shaikh knew the topography of the parking lot because he had worked in the Kamala Mills compound as a contract labourer on different projects over the past three years.

Around 8.30pm, Sanghvi’s family called him when he hadn’t reached home. The phone was disconnected at Singhvi’s end. “When another call was made by Singhvi’s family after about 15 minutes, the phone had been switched off,” sources said.

What happened between then and 11.20, when Sanghvi’s car was seen leaving the compound, remains a mystery. “It is not known what Shaikh was doing for over three hours after committing the murder,” sources said. Shaikh has admitted to driving off in Sanghvi’s car.

Meanwhile Sanghvi’s family conducted his last rites at the Chandanwadi crematorium on Monday evening. Sanghvi is survived by his wife and four-year-old son. “The family is in shock and are devastated,” a neighbour told.