Free Press Journal

Mumbai: HDFC bank Vice President killed for measly Rs 35,000 EMI?


(Photo by Bhushan Koyande)

Mumbai: A cab driver, Sarfaraz Ali Shaikh (20), has been arrested for the murder of Siddharth Sanghvi, a vice president at the HDFC bank. Shaikh, the police said, desperately needed money to repay his vehicle EMI and had confronted Sanghvi with a knife in the bank office compound.

Shaikh demanded Rs 30,000 -35,000, to which Sanghvi said ‘no’. Following this, Shaikh stabbed Sanghvi multiple times and even slit the banker’s throat, it is claimed. Sarfaraz was produced at the Bhoiwada Magistrate’s court on Monday evening. He looked visibly scared and his body language was hardly of a person who has committed a cold-blooded murder. Principal Magistrate V.B. Bohra asked the accused whether he wanted to say something.

A nonplussed Sarfaraz said, “Sahab mujhse ye murder ho gaya hai. Jo bhi hua hai, who hua hai. Mere saath aur koi nahi tha. Mujhe paise ka pressure tha aur gaadi ka loan bharna tha. Isliye maine paise maange.” He told the court that he would see Siddharth attending and leaving the office every day. He knew that Sarfaraz worked at the bank on a good post and had concluded that he was wealthy.

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As he spoke, Sarfaraz was trembling and his voice quivering. Again, his body language seemed to suggest that he had been tutored to speak. Sanghvi’s body was recovered by the Mumbai Police from Haji Malang at Kalyan on Sunday night where Shaikh said he had dumped it. Incidentally, some officials of the HDFC bank were also quizzed on Sunday as part of the investigation. Initially, the murder was being investigated from other angles too, an official said.

Sarfaraz is an Ola driver and had operated from the Kamala mill compound for the last three years. He is a native of Uttar Pradesh. As against this, the thirty-nine-year-old victim was employed as a senior analyst in the HDFC Bank’s asset and liability management division. He stayed in Malabar Hills with wife, parents and a four-year-old son.

Public Prosecutor Suchitra Narote has asked for further custody since Siddharth’s wallet is still missing and other belongings are also to be traced. The police had initially registered a case of kidnapping against Sarfaraz. During interrogation, he had confessed to the murder, it is claimed. Siddharth’s mobile phone was also recovered from Sarfaraz. On September 8, Sarfaraz had made a threatening call from his mobile number to Siddharth’s father Kiran saying that Siddharth is safe and he is doing fine.

Sarfaraz further told Kiran over the phone, “Aapko idhar udhar jaane ki zaroorat nahi hain. Aapka beta thik hai.” He had removed Siddharth’s sim card from his mobile phone and inserted his own to make the call. This enabled the police to trace his location at Airoli. Siddharth’s body was kept in the leg room area of the rear seat in the car. The body was found on Monday in the wee hours. After dumping the body at Kalyan, Sarfaraz drove the car to Koparkhairane at Navi Mumbai where he abandoned the vehicle. Sarfaraz has been remanded to police custody till September 19.