The body of an 18-year-old college student was found in the bushes near the sea at Carter Road in Bandra (W) on Monday evening. The girl was reported missing by her parents on Sunday at the Khar police station. Earlier, she had tried to commit suicide.
The Khar police officers received a call from passers-by at 4.15 on Monday about the body. The officers reached the spot and found the girl’s body entangled in the shrubbery near the rocks beyond Joggers Park. It was sent to Cooper Hospital for postmortem. The girl, identified as Afreen Shaikh, was a first-year commerce student at Rizvi College and stayed at Bandstand. The police suspect that her body was washed ashore after she drowned in the sea, as they have not found injury marks on her body except for bruises on her arms and face from the thorny bushes and rocks.
“We are awaiting the postmortem report to find out if she had any other injuries,” said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (zone IX). The officers said that on Sunday morning, Shaikh asked her father Ayub if she could go to her college for a function. “Since she was unwell, Ayub denied her permission, leading to a fight. Later, he allowed her to go. She was in a foul mood when she left and when she reached college, the function was over,” said a police officer from Khar police station.
In the evening, she called up her father and her boyfriend before going missing. “When Shaikh’s mobile phone was unreachable, Ayub set out to look for her and later approached the police station,” added another officer. “Shaikh had on December 8 consumed 20 sleeping tablets in a bid to kill herself and was admitted to Bhabha Hospital,” said DCP Dighavkar. The police are recording the statements of Ayub and Shaikh’s boyfriend. Said Ayub, “When she did not respond to my calls till late evening, I called her friends up. At 12.30 am, I got a call from her friend Hardik Solanki, informing me that he had seen her at the rocks at Carter Road.
He told me that she had called him to ‘help her out with a big problem’. When Solanki reached Carter Road, Afreen called him up to tell him that her father was nearby and would be angry at seeing them together.” Ayub continued, “When I reached the spot and could not find Afreen, I caught hold of Solanki who said he had fled after she told him about me. Then I went to register a ‘missing’ complaint. I suspect Solanki has something to do with my daughter’s death.”