In a tragic reminder of the Adnan Patrawala case, two men murdered their friend after kidnapping him from his Mira Road residence on Monday, with the intention of making some quick cash. The duo had demanded a ransom of Rs 8 lakh from the victim’s father after dumping the body near the Naigaon creek. However, they were arrested while they were accepting the ransom amount near the Kandivali rail bridge late on Tuesday night.
According to officers from the Kashimira police station , the victim identified as Ganesh Sriram, was staying in Jyotikunj building at Boisar with his father, mother and a younger sibling.
The 20-year-old was a student of SYBCom of Thakur College in Kandivali (E). Officials from Kashimira police station said that since Ganesh used to find it difficult to travel from Boisar to Kandivali everyday to attend college, his father had purchased a flat at Mira Road for him to stay in.
The police officers investigating the case said that the deceased was friends with two vegetable vendors also staying in Boisar. The victim’s father Ramchandra was aware that his son had been spending time with the two, identified as Kalpesh Saroj and Ravindra Kumar Yadav both aged 25.
In their statement to the police the accused said that they knew Ganesh was from a well-to-do family. Kalpesh has told the police that a few months ago he had borrowed Rs 1 lakh from Ganesh’s father, which he was unable to return.
Sangramsinh Nishandar, additional superintendent of police, Vasai, said that in order to make quick money and return the loan, Kalpesh decided to kidnap and kill Ganesh and roped in Yadav to help him.
On Monday, the two called up Ganesh and told him that they had some work at Mira Road and would meet him in the evening. Thy met Ganesh near his house and talked him into going to Boisar with them. They set out for Virar from where they were supposed to change trains. However, the three got off at Naigaon where they killed Ganesh and disposed off his body near the creek.
A few hours later, Kalpesh called up Ramchandra and told him that his son had been kidnapped and demanded Rs 8 lakh for his release. After negotiating with the kidnapper, the amount was reduced to Rs 3 lakh.
On Monday night, Ramchandra registered a complaint with the Kashimira police against Kalpesh. Police officers at Kashimira formed a 15-member team and left to trace Kalpesh at his house and his shop.
Nishandar said that they had tapped Ramchandra’s phone to locate the caller. The police said that Kalpesh called Ramchandra to Bandra to drop off the cash. However, he constantly changed his location between Andheri and Borivli.
At one point, Kalpesh even demanded that the money be thrown from a train near Kandivali. “Finally on Tuesday night when Ramchandra was told to hand over the money near the Kandivali rail bridge, we laid a trap and arrested the duo,” Nishandar said.
During questioning, the two confessed that they had murdered Ganesh and dumped his body in the Naigaon creek as they feared he would reveal their names to the police at some later point. “We have arrested the duo under Sections 302 (murder) and 364 A (kidnapping for ransom) of the IPC,” said Nishandar.
“On Wednesday at 3.30am, the two accused led us to the spot in the Naigaon creek and we recovered the body, which was hidden in the mangroves,” said PI Anil Patil from Kashimira police station. The police presented the duo before the Thane Sessions Court yesterday, where they were remanded in police custody till August 19.