HDFC VP Murder: Was It Professional Rivalry Or Robbery Gone Wrong?
Mumbai police claim motive behind banker Siddharth Sanghvi’s murder was robbery, but family questions investigation.
Even as the Mumbai police indicated that the primary motive for HDFC VP Siddharth Sanghvi’s murder is robbery, they haven’t yet ruled out the professional rivalry angle completely. Police have been questioning Sanghvi’s colleagues and other staff at HDFC Bank too.
Prime Murder Accused, A Scapegoat?
When Sarfaraz Shaikh, the prime accused in the case was arrested, he had initially confessed to being hired by Siddharth Sanghvi’s colleague but had later changed his stance. Over the course of the last four days, Shaikh changed his statement multiple times. In his second statement, the accused claimed three people from HDFC bank had met him with a contract to kill Sanghvi.
The fourth time, he finally claimed that he murdered the banker for Rs 30,000 but the first theory is what stuck with Sanghvi’s family and friends. Sanghvi’s friends and relatives believe that there has to be more than ‘robbery’ as motive in the case as the Mumbai police’s story is filled with loopholes.
“Why will a person drive with a dead body for two hours when his chances of getting caught in a police nakabandi or at a toll plaza are high? It seems so bizarre. If he had to rob him then why did he not run away with his valuables there itself. He is being made a scapegoat and this is a cover-up. We hope that the cops find the right culprit.”Siddharth Sanghvi’s friend to The Quint
The police, however, are relying heavily on CCTV footage and circumstantial evidence but think the possibility of Shaikh killing Sanghvi to rob him is higher.
Workplace Rivalry The Key Motive?
Banker Siddharth Sanghvi’s quick promotions at his workplace had raised quite a few eyebrows among colleagues. “His contemporaries and colleagues were not too happy with his sudden growth in the company,” claim investigators from Navi Mumbai police who were the first ones to arrest Sarfaraz Shaikh.
“The theory floated by Mumbai police seems to be nowhere close to what we had ascertained. But it’s their investigation and we have handed over the accused to them. We cannot comment on anything,”A police officer from Koperkhairane to The Quint
Meanwhile, HDFC officials have denied the rivalry angle.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic turn of events involving one of our colleagues. The matter is under investigation by the police and it would not be appropriate for the bank to comment at this stage. We await the official announcement of the outcome of this investigation. We urge everyone to do the same,” said an HDFC spokesperson.
What Happened That Fateful Night?
According to Sarfaraz Shaikh’s statement, he had planned the murder in advance. Since he worked as a fabricator at Kamala Mills for the last few years, he knew the area very well. Shaikh was aware that HDFC had a separate parking area and he had also noticed the timing when Siddharth used to leave office.
Shaikh had carefully noticed the positioning of CCTV cameras in the compound and marked locations that were not covered by cameras. The parking place where Sanghvi parked his car was a secluded one.
On the fateful night of 5 September, Shaikh saw Siddharth Sanghvi approaching the car and began following him. Once away from CCTV cameras, Shaikh caught hold of the banker from behind and overpowered him. Before Sanghvi could retaliate, the accused, who was armed with a knife, slit his throat from behind to stop him from screaming. He then stabbed Sanghvi multiple times till he died.
Sarfaraz Shaikh then dumped Sanghvi’s body inside the car and drove to Haji Malang at around 11pm. Upon reaching the location, Shaikh removed Sanghvi’s watch, a gold chain, his wallet and a high-end smart phone. He then pulled the body from the backseat and dumped it in the bushes. He again got into the car and drove home to Koperkhairane and parked the car there. Surprisingly, he did not care to clean up the car or the blood on the seat and car mat.
The cops caught a breakthrough when Shaikh switched on Sanghvi’s phone for a few seconds and removed the SIM card to replace it with his own. Unaware that the phone was being traced by the police, Shaikh called up Sanghvi’s father and asked him not to search for his son. He told him that the banker was with him and was safe. He also asked him to wait for his next call. The police who were already in pursuit, traced the number and reached Sarfaraz Shaikh and arrested him.
“We have arrested Shaikh who, apart from kidnapping, has now also been also booked for robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt and murder. We are exploring other angles too and investigations are on.”Abhinash Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of police, Zone 3
“Shaikh had even claimed to the Navi-Mumbai Cops initially, that somebody had paid him Rs 10,000 to dispose of the body. Those angles need to be explored,” said a police official.
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