Mumbai bank VP's murder accused had tried to kill his neighbour for Rs 800
Former neighbour says Sarfaraz Shaikh was perennially cash-strapped and, some time ago, had viciously assaulted him and tried to push him off the fourth-floor balcony
Neighbours of Sarfaraz Shaikh, better known as Raees Shaikh in Mamu Manzil, Koparkhairane, where he has rented a flat, recall him as someone always in a murderous rage. He had once even tried to kill one of them over a paltry Rs 800.
"Raees had run up a huge debt somehow. He had once tried to push me out of my fourth floor balcony over Rs 800. Thankfully, our society members intervened just in time," said Mehraj Shah, who used to be the accused's neighbour. Shah has since moved homes in fear of Sarfaraz.
Shah added, "Sarfaraz used to take up odd-jobs in construction. Earlier, we often used to have tea together and he would sometimes invite me home for a meal that he had cooked. But, he was uncouth and did not know how to speak to people. I never warmed to him."
Neighbour Meghraj Shah. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
He said, "Once he asked me whether I know of a carpenter for construction work. I suggested my uncle's name. Sarfraz took my uncle to his construction site and was to pay Rs 800 to my uncle for the work. My uncle constantly kept asking me for the money, so I asked Sarfaraz for the same, but he kept ignoring me. Some months ago, I told his roommate to give me the money and to take it from Sarfaraz later. I got the money, but on hearing about this Sarfaraz rushed to my flat and started banging on my door. As soon as I opened the door, he held me by the collar and tried to push me from the fourth floor balcony. He was shouting about how dare I take his money. He let me go only after the neighbours intervened."
Sarfaraz Shaikh's home in Koparkhairane. Pics/Sameer Markande
Shah said he always found Sarfaraz with bruises and cuts all over his body as if he had been in a fight. "He had so many debts that he was forced to sell his android phone recently. When I heard that he had murdered someone, I was shocked."
Sarfaraz's landlord's daughter, Tarannum Shaikh, said, "He rented our flat a year ago and we knew him as Raees. At the time he was sharing it with two of his friends, but they later left. Earlier, he used to pay rent on time, but he hasn't paid us for the last month. In his agreement, he had mentioned that he is from Delhi.
We didn't even know his name is Sarfaraz. A few days ago, his business partner came asked for him in some other name." "Sarfraz used to come home late at night. If he came early, he would hit the gym. He never celebrated any festival here," said a neighbour.
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