Mumbai: A day after police extracted the 28-year-old Raees Shaikh's body from the hole dug up in the kitchen by his wife Shahida and her paramour Amit Vishwakarma, Dahisar Police learnt that the illegitimate couple had planned the murder well in advance and purchased all the equipment, materials to dig a hole and seal it with new tiles.
While Shahida was detained on Tuesday evening, Amit was held from Aarey late on the same night, where he was staying at a relative's place to steer clear from the investigation. Both the accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for murder, causing disappearance of evidence.
Primary police probe revealed that Shahida and Amit, who were seeing each other for three years, had planned to elope and settle someplace else after eliminating Raees, who was acting as a hindrance to their romance. The duo killed Raees in the early hours of May 22, when he was asleep.
"Shahida said in her statement that she had spiked Raees' dinner with sleeping pills, which she acquired from a local pharmacy. When her children were asleep, Shahida and Amit strangled Raees with a nylon wire and then started digging the five and a half feel hole in the kitchen to bury him," said an investigating officer.
Shahida and Amit had already brought all the materials like matching tiles, cement, spade, shovel and mud to cover up the hole. Police were tipped off by the neighbours, who said that they saw a number of cement and mud sacks brought inside their house, which led to police discovering a fresh layer of cemented tiles in the kitchen.
"Investigation has revealed that the entire incident was planned well in advance and was not committed in the spur of the moment. While Shahida confessed her crime after a police team extracted the body. She had approached police on May 25 and given a false complaint of her missing husband, but her changing statements had loopholes," said Vishal Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 11), who has additional charge of Zone 12.
While Amit had disappeared from the neighbourhood on May 25, he had been staying at different relatives' places, but was attending work at Worli. Police laid a trap to nab him in Worli on the basis of technical investigation, but it failed as he had switched off his phone. Amit was later traced in Aarey late on Tuesday night and nabbed from there, said Pravin Patil, senior inspector of Dahisar police station.
Police excavated Raees' body on Tuesday and sent it for an autopsy, to ascertain the exact cause of death. Probe has also revealed that Shahida and Amit had previously made two attempts to kill Raees by giving him sleeping pills, but they failed. Their third attempt, however, was successful on May 22. The illegitimate couple planned on giving up their rented places after the matter settled and move in together, said police.