The matter came to light after police, while investigating a missing person’s case filed on April 12, recovered the body of Tabarak Khan (19) from the Vasai forest on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway the next day.
In April last year, Tabarak, his brother Mubarak Khan (21) and relative Amir Hamja (18) went to Surat to search for their kin Tavab Khan, who had gone missing from Surat railway station. While the trio was returning to Mumbai by train two days later without finding Tavab, Amir fell off and came under the wheels, dying instantly. His family, however, refused to believe that Amir’s death was accidental and was convinced that the Khans had pushed him off the train.
Amir’s elder brother Wakar Sahabuddin registered a complaint at Virar GRP against Tabarak and Mubarak in this regard, but they were released for lack of evidence.
When Tabarak failed to return to his home on Ismail Curtey Road in Pydhonie on April 11 this year, Mubarak registered a complaint against six relatives, Raju Sahabuddin, Wakar Sahabuddin (24), Rafiuddin Javed (22), Akbar Khan (24), Imran Khan (25) and Salman Alluddin (21) two days later. He stated in his complaint that they had threatened his brother in relation to Hamja’s death last year. Officials of Waliv police station arrested Salman, Wakar and Raju, while the other three are absconding.
During questioning, the accused confessed to gagging Tabarak with a cloth leading to strangulation, and disfiguring his face with a stone.
“For the past year, Wakar has been threatening and blaming us for his brother’s death. He said he will kill both my sons one day,” said Jalil Khan, Tabarak’s father.
Dipak Devraj, deputy SP of Vasai division said that past rivalry is the motive for the crime. “We arrested three persons and are investigating as there are more people involved. Past enmity appears to be the cause behind Tabarak’s murder,” Devraj said.
The accused have been booked under various sections of Indian Penal Code. They were produced at Vasai Court and remanded in police custody.