“I have been labelled a thief for life,” Kafil Ahmed Shaikh let out between sobs. Shaikh spent four days in the police lockup in March before getting bail. The police had to release him as they did not have any evidence to prove the charges levelled against him by his employer and television actor Nandish Singh.
Kafil Ahmed Shaikh (above) feels that Nandish Singh suspected him of spying on him on behalf of his estranged wife Rashami Desai
Singh (34), the estranged husband of TV soap Uttaran star Rashami Desai, had lodged a complaint with the Bangur Nagar police station on January 23 that Shaikh, his driver, had stolen Rs 4.25 lakh from his house two days earlier.
But Shaikh claimed that he was framed because Singh suspected him of passing on details to Desai of his relationship with a former Miss India. Singh and Desai separated in December 2015 and filed for divorce in March this year.
That fateful day
Shaikh said on January 21, he picked up the keys of Singh’s cupboard from his girlfriend’s driver at Juhu circle as per the actor’s orders. He claims to have handed them over to Singh’s brother, Omkar, and sister-in-law who reside with the actor at his flat in Bangur Nagar in Goregaon. Omkar reportedly used the keys to retrieve some private documents from Singh’s cupboard and handed them back to Shaikh. The driver then delivered the keys to the actor in Bandra. Shaikh said he followed his instructions, returned home and went on leave for four days due to a sprained ankle.
For nearly two months, things went smoothly. Then in March, when Shaikh was in Ahmedabad with Singh, his wife received a call from the Bangur Nagar police, summoning the driver at the police station. When Shaikh arrived at the police station, he was immediately arrested for the theft of Rs 4.25 lakh.
Shaikh is till trying to come to terms with how Singh didn’t let out a word for two months on having filed a complaint against him. “I was in shock. I had been on duty for the two intervening months, but Singh did not even tell me he had filed a case against me. I could not believe it. I was framed. I called Singh to confront him about it, but he gave me no answer. I then called up Rashami ma’am, who told me that she would help me. But, I did not know what was going on,” said Shaikh.
The police grilled Shaikh following his arrest, but failed to find any evidence against him. In his statement, Shaikh said since Omkar was present at the house on the day he delivered the keys, there was no chance of him being able to steal cash right in front of him.
Shaikh claimed that Singh is dating “a former Miss India”, but wants to keep it on the low. “I knew about the two since I used to pick up and drop them both almost every day. Singh might have assumed that I was spying on him at the behest of Rashami ma’am and would pass on information about this relationship, and that’s why he falsely implicated me in the case.”
He rued that the arrest has ruined his life. “I don’t have a job. My neighbours see me as a criminal. I cannot walk around with even a shred of dignity because of Singh.”
A Bangur Nagar police official said the charge against Shaikh could not be corroborated. “We checked his bank accounts, sent teams to his native place and traced his money trail. Prima facie, we found no evidence. We plan to approach the court to file a B summary to quash this case.” When mid-day raised Shaikh’s allegation of being framed with Singh, he said, “I don’t have time to respond to such an allegation. I will face it when it reaches me.”