HDFC bank VP's murder accused: I was only threatening him with knife, didn't mean to slit his throat

By Suraj Ojha and Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Accused Sarfaraz Shaikh said he had scouted the crime scene - the parking lot of HDFC vice-president Siddharth Sanghavi's Kamala Mills office - over five days with the intention of stealing Rs 30,000 for a new bike

Siddharth Sanghavi's last rites were held yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

After supplying a couple of different stories to the police about how and why he murdered HDFC vice-president Siddharth Sanghavi, Sarfaraz Shaikh, 20, has now gone back to his first version: that it was a robbery gone wrong. Shaikh said he had scouted the crime scene - the parking lot of Sanghavi's Kamala Mills office - over five days with the intention of stealing Rs 30,000 for a new bike. He claimed he had held a knife to the banker's throat with the sole intention of threatening him, but when Sanghavi resisted, the blade cut into his neck.

The NM Joshi police yesterday arrested Shaikh and produced him in court, where he was remanded in police custody till September 19. On the same day, at 7 pm, Sanghavi's family also completed his last rites.

Needed money
An officer said, "On Sunday, Additional Commissioner of Police Dr Ravindra Shisve asked him two questions: whether he was killer, and if yes, then why? Shisve did not even complete his question before Shaikh narrated the story."

Shaikh worked at a fabrication workshop in Kamala Mills compound, where the victim's office was also located. He told the cops he had bought a new bike and needed Rs 30,000 for the loan repayment.

He skulked around at the parking lot for five days, looking for a target. In this period, he would greet Sanghavi every day. He also kept an eye out for other targets, and nearly robbed someone else two days before. "On September 5, Sanghavi got into his car. Shaikh got in as well, and asked him for Rs 30,000. Sanghavi refused," said an officer.

Didn't intend murder
According to sources, the accused told the cops, "I didn't mean to murder him. But when he tried to escape, the knife hurt him. I laid him down in the back seat's legroom area and said I'd take him to the hospital if he would just give me the money. I only had Rs 200, I was desperate."

After Sanghavi succumbed to his injuries, Shaikh drove the body to Kalyan and dumped it there. DCP (Zone III) Abhinash Kumar said, "Sanghavi's father received a ransom call on September 8, claiming his son was okay. The caller said 'Aapka beta theek hai, abhi idhar udhar mat jao' (Your son is fine, don't go searching)." But the cops may not be entirely sold on this story. The police told the court yesterday that Shaikh had changed his statement several times and they still had many questions.

Also Read: Mumbai Bank VP's Murder Accused Had Tried To Kill His Neighbour For Rs 800

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