Ramzan confession solves 8-yr-old murder case
The month of Ramzan is one of the holiest in the Islamic calendar, and the 30-odd days are considered the best to cleanse the mind, body and soul of all its sins.
One such act of repentance by a Muslim driver in Jogeshwari, provided closure to a family of a victim murdered eight years ago in Kasara.
Unable to bear the guilt of the murder, Chintu narrates the details to a friend at a tea stall in Jogeshwari. Ulhas Naik, a constable with Crime Branch, overhears the conversation
The victim was kidnapped, thrashed and brutally murdered, and his body was dumped in the hills of Kasara in July 2003.
The local police found the body in an unidentifiable state and closed the case in December 2003, as they were unable to decipher the identity of the victim or trace its kin.
However, during the last 10 holy nights of Ramzan last month, Mohammad Kais Shafi Mohammed Baloch alias Chintu (26), a driver, could not bear to keep the burden of murder on his chest anymore.
Constable Ulhas Naik calls up his seniors at the Crime Branch and informs them about the details of the murder that he heard at the tea stall
He confided in a friend and spilled the details about the kidnapping and the murder.
Though he was discreet during his conversation, a constable Ulhas Naik, attached to Unit VII of the Crime Branch, happened to overhear bits of the story. Naik reported the incident to his seniors at the Crime Branch.
"Naik had overheard a person in Jogeshwari talking about a murder that he had committed," said Sunil Kavalekar, senior inspector of police, Crime Branch Unit VII.
"Naik told me about the incident and we picked up Chintu for interrogation.
The Crime Branch picks up Chintu and during interrogation he confesses to the crime and names his associates in the murder as well. Illustrations/Jishu Dev Malakar
Chintu was very forthcoming and confessed how he, along with three more people, had murdered a colleague as revenge for stealing Rs 25,000 from their office," said Kavalekar.
Kavalekar then informed Himanshu Roy, Jt CP (Crime). A team under police inspector Vinayak Vast and Sanjay Surve was assigned to investigate the matter in Kasara.
The Kasara police confirmed the incident and based on the information provided by Chintu, the case was reopened and the accused were arrested.
"On investigation it was learnt that the body was discovered in Kasara on July 5, 03 by the Kasara police in a plastic bag, but they could not identify the body. Chintu then identified the body," said Vinayak Vast, police inspector of Unit VII.
"The others had forgotten about the murder, but Chintu who had begun to fast for Ramzan could not carry the guilt and confessed to the crime," said Kavalekar.
The gruesome crime
According to Chintu's confession, the victim Shatrughan Khamkar (20) was employed as a cleaner in Orson Chemicals in Jogeshwari.
He was handed over a packet containing Rs 25,000 that he was to deliver to a client. However, Khamkar took the money and fled to his native place in Mahad, Raigad district.
The owners, Narayan Goenka and Pawan Droliya, were enraged and decided to teach Khamkar a lesson.
The owners, along with Chintu and another driver Imran Sayyad, went to Khamkar's village and brought him back to their Jogeshwari office.
"Khamkar was beaten up at the Jogeshwari office and later taken to a factory in Thane.
There he was strangulated and his body was dumped in Kasara," said Kavalekar. After the murder, the owners called up Khamkar's family to reassure them and kept sending money regularly to meet the family's expenses.
The murderers had thought that they had managed to cover their tracks. But Chintu's conscience did not leave him in peace.
Amount that was allegedly stolen by the victim, which led to his murder